A small sinkhole in Glace Bay, N.S., has turned into a big problem for residents living beside it in an apartment complex.

“It feels like every time you turn your back it grows a little bit more and gets a little deeper,” says tenant Blair Brewer.

The hole first appeared a year ago. The building owner has filled it with loose rock and gravel a number of times, but the ground keeps slipping away.

It's all unnerving for residents.

“If something should happen and part of the building sinks in, it's not just the person in that part of the building that needs to worry,” says Blair. “The whole building will be evacuated and we will have to look for a new home. That's not easy with a new family, especially with a three-month-old daughter.”

Resident Jesse Bainbridge and others suspect they're living above an old bootleg coal mine

“It's pretty scary, especially when you wake up every morning and this is the first thing you see,” says Bainbridge.

Stephen Boutilier says he's lost sleep since the hole appeared because his bedroom is directly in line with the sinking ground.

“It’s kind of concerning to me,” says Boutilier. “I'm not sleeping in the bedroom while she's still collapsing there.”

The company that owns the complex is located in Dartmouth. They say their top priority is the safety of the residents. They also plan to hire a geotechnical engineer to assess the area and provide a report.

But there’s still a lot of uncertainty on what's caused the ground to give way, and more importantly, how deep it is.

“We've tried with powerful flashlights and measuring tapes to go down to the bottom, just to figure out how deep it was and we can't see it,” says Bainbridge. “We've thrown rocks in there, can't hear them, can't see them get to the bottom.”

The area is secured with fencing for now, but residents are hoping something is done soon to relieve some stress and the sinking feeling they live with every day.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.