Sinkhole forces Lake Mary family from home

Hole opens beneath house on Lake Como Drive

LAKE MARY, Fla. - A Lake Mary family was ordered out of their home after a sinkhole opened overnight Saturday, prompting officials to declare the dwelling unsafe.

The house is located on Lake Como Drive, off County Road 46 in the Hills of Lake Mary subdivision. Firefighters were called to the home early Sunday, where they called in a housing inspector to evaluate the sinkhole.

Homeowner Debbie Coffman said the insurance company was supposed to send out engineers to keep the sinkhole from spreading, but they haven't been spotted yet.

"They are picking up our living expenses and they are in the process of looking for a house right now so hopefully that comes soon so we can get out of the hotel," Debbie Coffman said.

Officials asked the family to leave and posted an orange sign on the door that read "Unsafe: Enter at your own risk."

Coffman lives in the house with her family and four dogs and told Local 6 they'll stay at a hotel in the meantime. Coffman worried about finding a place for her dogs, but found a temporary solution -- a friend was taking two of the dogs and the hotel allowed them to keep the two others there.

Now, the family is working on finding a more permanent living situation that can accommodate five people and four dogs.

Coffman estimated the sinkhole is 7 feet wide and 4 feet deep, but even firefighters couldn't tell how far the depression goes underneath the house. The sinkhole caused cracks in the foundation and inside the home in the floors and ceilings.

The family told Local 6 that an inspector looked at cracking inside the house months ago and located the sinkhole but promised the holes wouldn't open.

Throughout the situation, Coffman and her family have been able to remain positive.

"The only important thing is my family, but we still have to make the mortgage payments," she joked.

Meanwhile, neighbors tell Local 6 they're nervous about the sinkhole spreading.

"I'm just concerned- worried that it might grow and that there might be more than one house affected," said neighbor Shawn Morris.

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