Crew Saves Mementos From Sinkhole Home

Family watches, weeps

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 4, 2013 2:11 AM CST

(Newser) – Crews have now razed about half of the Florida home that fell victim to a sinkhole last week, and workers managed to grab some keepsakes for its former residents in the process. Among them: photos, a Bible, a jewelry box, a purse, and a pink teddy bear belonging to the 2-year-old girl who lived there—the niece of Jeffrey Bush, who is presumed to have died in the sinkhole. Family records and photos were tucked between the pages of the Bible, says the daughter of the owner of the home, which had been in the family for 40 years.

Finding it "means that God is still in control, and he knew we needed this for closure," she says. Family members wept as sections of the home were exposed, the Tampa Tribune reports. But each item rescued prompted cheers from the family and other onlookers, the AP reports. Crews intend to knock down the remaining walls today. Meanwhile, authorities are considering how to deal with neighboring homes said to be "compromised" by the sinkhole; their future is uncertain. But the neighbors themselves have become close-knit amid the tragedy, a local pastor says.

Firefighters, family members, and friends pack some salvaged items.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
A Hillsborough County, Fla., firefighter removes salvaged items, including a family photo, from the home.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Demolition experts watch as the home of Jeff Bush, 37, is destroyed Sunday, March 3, 2013, in Seffner, Fla.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Jeremy Bush, right, is consoled by an unidentified woman Sunday, March 3, 2013, as he sits outside the home where a sinkhole swallowed his brother, Jeffrey Bush, in Seffner, Fla.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Hillsborough County, Fla., firefighters fold an American flag after removing it from the home.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
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