TODAY   |  March 03, 2013

Florida house demolished as sinkhole grows

"It's terrible, I knew when the fire department and other rescue workers wouldn't go into the house, that was his last resting place," said the brother of Jeff Bush, 36, who was plunged into the sinkhole as he slept in his bedroom and is presumed dead. NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> in florida. demolition crews are outside the house to tear it down. gabe gutierrez is there for us.

>> lester, good morning. engineers at the scene have determined that the street is entirely unstable. the rescue effort is now over after authorities found no sign of life. with a sinkhole expanding beneath this house, rescue crews say they have no choice but to demolish the home today. the growing cavern is at least 30 feet wide and 50 feet deep and they don't know when it will stop.

>> we've met with the family. we've advised them of that. and that at this point we have to move beyond the rescue to demolition phase.

>> reporter: word that the victim may never be recovered hit the tight-knit community hard. family members of 36-year-old jeff bush who plunged into the sinkhole as he slept in his bedroom and is presumed dead , gathered with neighbors to console one another.

>> i knew whenever the fire department or nobody would go inside the house that was his last resting place and that's where he will be for the time being.

>> for those living in the house near the sinkhole, u.s. a scramble to safe.

>> how long did they give you, ma'am?

>> 30 minutes .

>> reporter: some given just a half hour to collect belongings and leave.

>> it rips my heart out that people i have lived next door to for 21 years had to leave. they have a lot of memories in their house also.

>> reporter: after the demolition, they plan to fill in the hole. what made this so unusual, it happened entirely inside the house, so it became hidden until it became catastrophic.