Sinkhole swallows part of Florida home spared by Irma

A sinkhole swallowed part of a home in Apopka, Florida.

WKMG-TV

Last Updated Sep 20, 2017 11:14 AM EDT

APOPKA, Fla. -- A Florida home spared by Hurricane Irma has been partially swallowed up by a massive sinkhole. 

Orange County Fire Rescue spokeswoman Kat Kennedy says crews responded Tuesday morning, shortly after the Apopka house began sinking. She says the sinkhole measured about 20 feet across and 15 feet deep. 

The sinkhole prompted the family members to evacuate Tuesday morning after they started feeling the ground shake, CBS affiliate WKMG-TV reports.

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An aerial view of the sinkhole in Apopka, Florida.

WKMG-TV

"I wasn't sure what all the sounds were until I got up and saw the big, huge cracks in the walls, and they were just enormous," Ellen Miller said. "It's the only home I've ever had."   

Miller said the family has lived in the house since 1969 and never left. The sinkhole swallowed up the home's kitchen, den and bathroom.

"It's probably generations of stuff," Miller's daughter Connie Hale told WKMG. "It's my grandfather's flag from his casket, my dad's father's Bible, who's been gone since I was an infant. It's just stuff that's not replaceable." 

Apopka is in central Florida, about 18 miles northwest of Orlando. Miller said the house only lost power for about a day during Irma, which caused widespread flooding and wind damage across the state.