Massive sinkhole swallows Hudson home

HUDSON, Fla. -  It crumbled into the ground so quickly, there was little anyone could do but watch.

"No noise, very quiet," said neighbor Dave Taylor.

Taylor had an up-close view as the ground swallowed part of his next door neighbor's home.  His own home sits just 10 feet away.  

As he watched the house slowly sink down Wednesday afternoon, he and his wife comforted the homeowner.

"She sort of laid her head on my shoulder and cried," Taylor said.  "She took it pretty good considering her house had fallen through the ground."

The homeowner, 79-year-old Susan Minutillo, was having her home evaluated for sinkholes when the ground opened up.

 As crews were surveying her property, she stepped out to run an errand.

By the time she got home, about half of her house was already in the ground.  Pasco Fire Rescue crews described the hole as "big as a two-car garage".  

The home is a total loss.

It's the type of damage the Beacon Wood Estates neighborhood had never seen before.  

But what's behind it is nothing new.  Neighbors say about half of the properties in the sub-division have dealt with sinkhole related issues.  

Many homeowners have had their ground reinforced.

By Wednesday evening, the hole appeared to still be growing, with all of Minutillo's back porch and bedroom crumbled into the ground.

"If that had happened at night time, it would have caved in and she would have been gone," neighbor Mikey Delfreo said.

For now, Minutillo is staying with family.  Crews will return to the home on Thursday, weather permitting, to further evaluate the damage.

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