Lake Co. residents afraid of planned 18K-gallon propane tank near neighborhood

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LAKE COUNTY, Fla. —

Water Oak Country Club Estates residents are afraid of the potential 18,000-gallon liquid-propane tank that is planned to border their neighborhood.

Village Airport Van plans to move onto four acres of land that borders the neighborhood. The company is converting its fleet of shuttles to propane to fuel the vans.

"To have that huge amount in my backyard, literally, is very frightening," homeowner Renee Erbe said.

Some of the homeowners can't get last summer's Blue Rhino incident in Tavares out of their heads.

Homeowner Larry Biddle says "accidents happen."

"I was in the service, submarine service for nine years. I am familiar with Murphy's Law," Biddle said.

Biddle's house is just a few steps away from the property line and he's concerned that if something were to go wrong that he would be in the "blast" zone.

"And if it can go boom, it might go boom," Biddle said.

Village Airport's owners say their operation is nothing like Blue Rhino. The propane tank will be more than a tenth of a mile from the nearest home. They say the fire marshal has approved and that all federal guidelines will be followed.

"All the safety precautions in the world won't help. You still have human error, which is a factor. So that really makes me worry," Erbe said.

The Lady Lake town commission will hold a final vote next week on the move.