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Sinkhole scare prompts evacuation of Orlando neighborhood

Old well discovered after bubbles, strange smell come out of ground

ORLANDO, Fla. – An old well with pressurized air coming out prompted authorities to evacuate homes in Orlando on Thursday night.

The incident happened along South Crystal Lake Drive, a few blocks from State Road 408.

Firefighters blocked off the area and evacuated at least two homes to make sure everyone is safe. At first, they thought it was a possible sinkhole, but it was later determined to be an old well.

Neighbors said concerns began with bubbles coming out of the ground and a strange smell.

"My neighbor came and got me to look over here, something is bubbling up from the ground and he said, 'Hey, what do you think this is?' I said, 'I don't know, but it smells funny,'" John Clementson said.

Clementson said it started out small near the front of the entrance of the house just after 7 p.m. Thursday. He said he and his neighbor were not taking any chances.

"It's right next to the house. It's kind of a chemically smell, but not something I'm familiar with. It doesn't smell good," Clementon said.

Orlando firefighters told News 6 they tested the area to see what was happening.

"We've tested it for hydrocyanide, hydrogen sulfide, CO, oxygen levels. We've found nothing hazardous," said Lt. Derek Aagaard, with the Orlando Fire Department.

Officials said after they dug around the hole and found an old well with pressurized air coming out. They told News 6 it's not dangerous.

"It does occasionally burp, so to speak, and give off a strong odor, but it's not detectable on any of our meters," Aagaard said.

Residents were later allowed to return home.

An engineer could be out to the property to take a look at the well Friday.

Stay with News 6 and ClickOrlando.com for updates on this developing story.