Within minutes, the hole opened up,” Land O’Lakes Fire Chief Shawn Whited said at a news briefing.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that the residents had already left for work when the hole opened up, but firefighters rescued two dogs and tried to retrieve belongings from the home.
“We got as much as we could as quickly as we could before it got too dangerous to be up there,” Whited said. “For the most part, they’ve lost everything.”
Eleven other homes in the neighborhood were deemed unsafe and the residents have been evacuated, officials said.
“If we need to come and knock on your door, you should be ready to go. We will continue to back this up about 100 feet at a time or whatever the building inspector tells us,” said Kevin Guthrie, assistant county administrator. “This is a very fluid situation. The sinkhole, by no means, is stable.”
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