Sarasota News Leader

04/25/2014

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Don Fee is one of the most fire-safety con- scious people in town. He has to be. His chain-link fence protects 100,000 gallons of diesel fuel and gasoline and 40,000 gallons of propane. Over the past six months, he has grown increasingly concerned about camps of homeless people and vagrants starting fires that get out of control. "We're seeing fires three and four times a week, and it gets a w a y f r o m t h e m sometimes," he told the Sarasota City Commission on April 21 during the open to the public slot on the agenda. He works for Midco Petroleum, the only fuel storage and supply business left in Sarasota County. The business is located in the cen- ter of the City of Sarasota, where Sixth Street i s b i s e c t e d b y t h e Seaboard Coastline Railroad. His business is on the east side of the tracks. Rick Mixon, vice pres- ident of Midco, has On one side of the railroad tracks stand tanks with thousands of gallons of volatile fuels; on the other side, a camp of vagrants who start fires and then fall asleep. Photo by Stan Zimmerman CAMPFIRES NEAR A PETROLEUM COMPANY AND OTHER NEARBY BUSINESSES PROMPT COMMENTS TO THE CITY COMMISSION THREAT FROM THE HOMELESS These people don't want help. They are where they want to be. Rick Mixon Vice President Midco Petroleum Sarasota By Stan Zimmerman City Editor NEWS & COMMENTARY

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