It was not a pleasant way to figure out that you may have a problem -- Derrick Bullard was walking in front of his home on Trinity Place in East Tampa a few weeks ago when he fell into a hole.
"I thought I broke my leg," Bullard told FOX 13. "I tripped and fell and saw my leg was right in the ground, then I pulled it out and noticed something was terribly wrong."
When he figured out his leg was not broken, he put the incident behind him. Then the catastrophic sinkhole opened in Seffner that sucked part of a house into the earth and killed a man who was sleeping in it.
After that, Bullard's mind started to consider the possibilities.
"My leg went into it (the hole)," he said. "What else could go into it?"
The hole made him rethink other things that had happened at the house. What he originally dismissed, he began seeing as possible red flags. A year and a half ago, cracks began showing up in the block walls of the house.
At night, he had begun to notice popping sounds.
What he had glossed over became much more distressing after the Seffner tragedy.
LINK: Signs of sinkhole damage:
He is not the only person who is now on high alert over sinkholes. Many sinkhole repair companies are getting dozens of calls from homeowners asking for inspections.
In Bullard's case, Hillsborough County inspectors say there is nothing they can see that would make the place unsafe to live.
That's exactly what many other people in Tampa Bay want to hear as well.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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