Seffner, Florida -- Engineers finished covering the Seffner lot Tuesday that was once the Wicker family home and is now Jeff Bush's grave.
It's all very unsettling for people who live in this part of Seffner.Three days ago, there was a house standing on the lot filled with40 years of family memories.Now it's empty, a grave, and a growingsource of worry for an entire community.
While most of us can't even imagine the horror of a sinkhole opening right beneath us,Wally Sparks can.
"Scary thing, yeah. Scary," he recalls.
In June of 2000, Sparks' homeat 3525 Lemon Street, also in Seffner, wasnearly swallowed by a hole 30-feet deep.
"The other apartment fell first and I got out of it," he says, remembering how half of the duplex squeaked, cracked and fell.
Fortunately,Wally and his wife Theresa occupied the side of the home that did not fall in, but the building was a total loss and eventually leveled.
To this day the photos and the frightening memories stay with Sparks. He thanks God he wasn't killed that day, and is deeply saddened by what happened to Jeff Bush.
"We could have been the same thing," he said.
At the site of what was Bush's home -- now his final resting place -- workers spent the day stabilizing the sinkhole that took the 37-year-old's life.
A couple of miles away, adjusters worked with neighbors still stunned by a second sinkhole opening in the yard between two homes.
Michael O'Neal says he grew up in the house now condemned.
He recalls a smaller sinkhole in the corner of the yard years ago. His family sold the place and moved around the corner.
"Could have been us still living in that house still, and could have had another sinkhole. Could have been under the house," he thinks shaking his head.
That's the issue in Seffner now: uncertainty.
"Who knows how many holes are gonna open up in this area?" asked Barry Bradford.
Bradford has lived in a house a few blocks from both homes for 30 years.He's got an inspector coming this week hoping for some peace of mind "for me and my family," he said.
But where there is fear, there are often scam artists, and it turns out that's no different in this case.
George Kloiber who lives a few lots from the Wicker's former home,says they're now getting all kinds of phony solicitations... fliers, phone calls, even personal visits form people claiming they're ready to represent them.
"I just told them to take a walk; I knew right off the bat. It was definitely a scam," Kloiber said of one man who claimed he was here to help.
How long will the Wicker lot sit empty?To this day the lotwhere Wally Sparks' duplex once stood is still empty.
He understands why people are so concerned. For years he lived in the duplex right behind the lot that swallowed his home. Wondering whether the nightmare might continue.
"It didn't happen that way so I'm glad about that too," he said.
Neighbors say what worries them more this time around is having two holes open up so close to each other in such a short period of time.
While officials say the two are not geologically connected,residentswonder if the underground conditions have somehow changed leaving them and their property more vulnerable.
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