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Crews to reinspect hole that opened up in Pine Hills yard

A family is spent Thursday night away from their home after a 10-foot-deep hole opened up in their back yard.
A family is spent Thursday night away from their home after a 10-foot-deep hole opened up in their back yard.
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Updated: 2/21 8:38 am
PINE HILLS, Fla. (WFTV) -- A family is spent Thursday night away from their home after a 10-foot-deep hole opened up in their back yard.

Crews have assessed the damage at the home on Lake Horseshoe Drive in Pine Hills and found it could be a depression and not a sinkhole.

Neighbors near the property were allowed to stay because no apparent problems were found on their property.

Meanwhile, the home where the hole opened up is cordoned off with caution tape, and the homeowners were forced to collect all their valuables and leave.

“The building department did an inspection and deemed it uninhabitable until they can do further investigation,” Lt. Kimberly Buffkin, with Orange County Fire Rescue, said.

That investigation will reveal if the hole is a ground depression or worse: a sinkhole. A geologist must examine the soil to know for sure.

Late Thursday fire officials were leaning toward a depression because it's not as deep as a sinkhole, which normally reaches the water table.

The idea of a sinkhole rattled homeowners and their neighbors. Some neighbors said, however, they expected something like that to happen.

“This used to be an orange grove and it was sand,” neighbor Larry Johnson said.

The hole caused the foundation of the home to crack.

A building inspector said it swallowed a swing set when it opened up about 2:45 p.m. Thursday, forcing Orange County firefighters to rope off the property and caution neighbors that they might have to evacuate.

By nightfall, those around the property were told they can stay put.

Officials said the hole will likely be filled in with dirt in the coming days.

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