A demolition team is reluctantly finishing what a Florida sinkhole started.
For a couple of hours Sunday, workers in Hillsborough County started the somber process of knocking down the remains of a home that was partially swallowed in a sinkhole on Thursday night.
One resident, 37-year-old Jeff Bush, remained missing and is presumed dead after his bedroom fell into a hole thought to be dozens of feet deep. Family members who were inside the home heard a crash and a scream before evacuating, and authorities had to call off a search for him Saturday.
Before demolition began Sunday morning, Jeremy Bush fell to a crouch at a small memorial of flowers by the mailbox in front of the home, where days before he had tried and failed to rescue his brother.
Workers used an 80-foot excavation arm Sunday to pull items from the home, including a purse, a picture, a Bible, and an American flag that was then presented to Bush’s mother, county officials said.
Before officials halted work for the day -- citing a need for more equipment to complete the demolition -- the demolition crew also recovered war medals and memorabilia that belonged to Bush’s grandfather, WFLA-TV reported.
The most touching moment at the scene was when the family asked to meet the heavy equip operator - they met with tears and hugs.— Hillsborough FL (@HillsboroughFL) March 3, 2013
Local firefighters have set up a relief fund to take donations for the family.
Demolition was expected to continue 8 a.m. Monday, WFLA-TV reported.