Large hole in ground opens next to Pasco home

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A large hole opened up in the ground in Holiday Monday afternoon, according to the Pasco County Fire Rescue.

It happened at 5005 Genesis Ave. The report about the hole came in around 1:30 p.m.

The hole measures approximately 25 to 30 feet wide by 10 feet deep. The homeowner is out of state but has been notified. Officials confirmed two pest control workers were inside the house when the hole was discovered.

“My daughter says, ‘Ma, that’s Aunt Alice’s house,’” Janet Bareli said. “I’ve always had a fear. I begged her to get out of the house to sell and get away from here.“

Bareli’s sister, Alice Hammond, now vacationing in New York, has lived at the home for at least 10 years. Bareli said her sister doesn’t have insurance. She has no idea what’s next.

Emergency crews were forced to evacuate three nearby houses.

“It was scary,” said neighbor Katrina Sherman, who lives right next door with her 4-year-old daughter. “Again, it was scary.”

Ken, who also lives next door, didn’t want News Channel 8 to use his last name. “I’m pretty surprised by it. I certainly didn’t expect to have a big, huge hole underneath my next door neighbor’s house when I came home,” Ken said.

Douglas Alexander just bought his home six months ago on a neighboring street. In light of these events, he has plans to make sure this doesn’t happen to his home.

“A lot close for comfort,” Alexander said. “I’m personally going to go ahead and get an engineer to test the soil and the ground.”

Pasco County Emergency Management officials told News Channel 8 they’re taking every precaution.

“And again, that’s why we’re here,” Kevin Guthrie of Pasco County’s emergency management office said. “We’re here to protect the public safety.”

Emergency crews will return to the scene Tuesday. If the hole grows, officials will extend the 100-foot perimeter currently set up.

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