By Tamas Mondovics
The two houses adjacent to the Seffner sinkhole that swallowed a man alive were demolished last month, bringing an end to the sad drama that unfolded in front of the community as well as the nation in March.
According to Hillsborough County officials, the two homes at 238 and 242 Faithway Dr. in Seffner underwent a demolition as they were deemed unsafe and were condemned following the sinkhole that opened up under 240 Faithway Dr., on the night of February 28, killing 37-year-old Jeff Bush, who at the time was asleep in a bedroom when the sinkhole appeared.
Although some rescue efforts were made, Bush was never found and the sinkhole had become his final resting place.
County spokesperson, Willie Puz, said that the two homes adjacent to 240 Faithway Dr. owned by Jeffrey Allen and Lisa Jaudon respectively, were officially condemned on April 1 after the remediation cost estimate that was included in the Geotechnical Report provided by engineering consultants indicated that repairs to the properties would exceed 50 percent of their value.
“The engineering tests conducted on the properties that lead to that determination included cone penetrometer tests, electrical surveys, and use of ground-penetrating radar.” Puz said.
The demolition was conducted by II Meyer Corp, a private demolition company, and was overseen by Hillsborough County Code Enforcement.
A long reach excavator and a backhoe excavator were used for the work, which took three days to complete.
Homeowners were allowed to enter the houses for about 30 minutes back in February, but that was the last time anyone went near either home.
As to what to do with the vacant lots, Puz said that decisions are still being worked out.
“The properties may stay in private ownership or ownership of the county, but it is a decision that is still further down the road,” Puz said.
Following Bush’s burial at the site where he was killed, prompted his family members to request that the site remain empty and perhaps becomes a park with a bench or some sort of a memorial, but Puz said that such plans are still up in the air.
For more information, please visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org.