PALM HARBOR (FOX 13) - Cracks are creeping up the walls of a Palm Harbor home, leading to speculation of a possible sinkhole.
Although it is hard to tell the damage taking place from the outside, Palm Harbor firefighters confirm the home is caving in from the inside of the house, with cracks growing throughout Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.
They also say the living room has sunk at least four inches with the ceiling beginning to separate from the sides of the house. Cracks have even formed in the backyard pool.
The female homeowner has been evacuated and fire units remain on scene at the home, located at 3305 Dorchester Drive, monitoring the situation as a precaution.
Officials are not calling this a sinkhole situation just yet. An engineer will evaluate the home later Wednesday morning.
Joyce Gordon, who lives next door, said her neighbor lost her husband in early December. Gordon said the couple remodeled the home together.
"It's so beautiful inside, new kitchen, new bathrooms," Gordon told FOX 13. "I feel terrible for her. Her family is in New York and Connecticut. I hope nothing worse than this happens."
Gordon recalled hearing a loud thump Tuesday night around 11 p.m. Her husband thought it could have been a sonic boom after venturing outside with a flashlight and unable to find the source of the noise.
"It sounded like a tree had fallen on my house," she said. "Then, I heard several other noises, like something dropping on the house."
Gordon said they did discover a large crack on one of the bathroom floors inside their home. She said there was a smaller crack in the same spot for 10 years, but it grew. The couple, who had planned to go on vacation this weekend, are concerned for their home.
"I just wonder if we should go," she said. "It's something like that you wonder whether or not you should leave. The fireman told us to get a bag ready with our valuables and take it with us whenever we go."