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Most of Fla. house over sinkhole demolished

Sunday - 3/3/2013, 8:09pm  ET

SEFFNER, Fla. (AP) -- Crews have razed more than half of the Tampa-area home perched over a huge sinkhole that swallowed a man three days ago.

They managed to salvage some keepsakes for family members who lived there.

The operator of the heavy equipment worked gingerly, first taking off a front wall. Family belongings were scooped onto the lawn gently in hopes of salvaging parts of the family's 40-year history in the home.

Demolition has stopped for the day and only a few walls of the home remain.

Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill says the remaining walls of the home would be knocked down Monday and then crews would turn to clearing the debris as much as possible to allow officials and engineers to see the sinkhole in the open. Officials also will determine what will happen to the two homes on either side of the demolished house.

Experts say the sinkhole has "compromised" those homes, but it's unclear whether steps can be taken to save them.

Sound:

%@AP Links

137-a-08-(Wanda Carter, daughter of man who owned the home, with reporters)-"from my mother"-Wanda Carter, whose father bought the home in the 1970's, says a cross made in the memory of her late mother was recovered from the wreckage. (3 Mar 2013)

<> 00:08 "from my mother"

136-a-09-(Wanda Carter, daughter of man who owned the home, with reporters)-"he really did"-Wanda Carter, whose father bought the home in the 1970's, says she was stunned to see the family bible salvaged from the wreckage. (3 Mar 2013)

<> 00:09 "he really did"

125-a-08-(John Lyons, director, Hillsborough County Department of Public Utilities, at news conference)-"take it away"-Hillsborough County Public Utilities Director John Lyons says the demolition will be completed tomorrow with a backhoe. (3 Mar 2013)

<> 00:08 "take it away"

114-c-08-(Tamara (TAM'-uh-ruh) Lush, AP correspondent)-"home gets demolished"-AP correspondent Tamara Lush reports family members watched the house come down. ((watch for dating)) (3 Mar 2013)

<> 00:08 "home gets demolished"

116-c-13-(Tamara (TAM'-uh-ruh) Lush, AP correspondent)-"near the sinkhole"-AP correspondent Tamara Lush reports the process to get to the sinkhole will be a long one. (3 Mar 2013)

<> 00:13 "near the sinkhole"

115-c-08-(Tamara (TAM'-uh-ruh) Lush, AP correspondent)-"couple of purses"-AP correspondent Tamara Lush reports officials let the family members look through some of the things taken out of the home. (3 Mar 2013)

<> 00:08 "couple of purses"

100-r-18-(Sound of heavy equipment, demolishing home with the 20-foot-wide sinkhole.)--Sound of heavy equipment demolishing the home with the 20-foot-wide sinkhole. (3 Mar 2013)

<> 00:18

APPHOTO FLCO115: Firefighters, family members, and friends pack some salvaged items as a home where a sinkhole opened up underneath a bedroom late Thursday evening and swallowed a man is demolished Sunday, March 3, 2013, in Seffner, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) (3 Mar 2013)

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APPHOTO FLCO111: Demolition experts watch as the home of Jeff Bush, 37, is destroyed Sunday, March 3, 2013, in Seffner, Fla. The 20-foot-wide opening of the sinkhole was almost covered by the house, and rescuers said there were no signs of life since the hole opened Thursday night. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) (3 Mar 2013)

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APPHOTO FLCO103: A Hillsborough County, Fla., firefighter removes salvaged items, including a family photo, from the home where a sinkhole swallowed Jeffrey Bush, late Thursday in Seffner, Fla., on Sunday, March 3, 2013. Crews are set to begin the demolition of the home on Sunday, after search personnel failed to find Bush. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) (3 Mar 2013)

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APPHOTO FLCO112: Jeremy Bush, right, is consoled by an unidentified woman Sunday, March 3, 2013, as he sits outside a home where a sinkhole opened up underneath lateThursday evening, swallowing his brother, Jeffrey Bush, in Seffner, Fla. Crews on Sunday began the demolition of the Florida home. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) (3 Mar 2013)

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