Fire service chiefs warn people across Harborough not to store petrol or diesel in their vehicles or at home
Fire service chiefs are warning people across Harborough not to store huge stashes of petrol or diesel in their vehicles or at home as the fuel crisis continues to bite.
The warning is being issued by Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service as under-pressure petrol stations in Harborough battle to keep up with panic buying and rocketing demand.
Pictures have appeared in the national media and on social media of people desperately filling jerry cans and even water bottles and drink cartons with fuel.
But the fire service is urging people to keep only small quantities of flammable material in proper petrol cans.
And they are also stressing that the fuel should be kept well away from any heat sources to prevent catastrophic fires breaking out.
The county’s fire service says it currently has plenty of fuel for its engines based in Market Harborough, Kibworth Beauchamp, Lutterworth, Billesdon and across Leicestershire.
Fellow 999 services, the police and ambulance, also insist they have enough fuel to run all of their vehicles and operate as normally.
Steve Farnsworth, Assistant Director of Operational Support Services at East Midlands Ambulance Service, told the Harborough Mail: “As a Blue Light service, we have robust plans in place so we are assured our vehicles can continue to run and respond to our patients.”
A Leicestershire Police spokesman said: “With regards to the ongoing fuel situation, this is not having an impact on operational commitments across the force.”
Cllr Phil King, the leader of Harborough District Council, told the Mail today: “The council has robust contingency plans in place - and there are no significant operational issues with services continuing as normal.
“We will continue to monitor the situation over the coming days.”
The Conservative council boss is also repeating his plea to people across Harborough to buy just as much fuel as they need.
“I urge residents not to panic buy and to purchase fuel responsibly,” said Cllr King.
A Leicestershire County Council spokesman said they have not had any “disruption to services” that they provide so far.
Meanwhile, filling stations in Market Harborough are slowly returning to normal today – but are still struggling to get hold of diesel.
A member of staff operating the forecourt at Protheroes motor dealer’s on Northampton Road said they received a vital new delivery at 7.30am today.
“We received 13,000 litres of unleaded and 23,000 litres of diesel.
“That would usually last us about a week,” he told the Mail.
“But we’ll try to get another delivery on Friday this week to cope with increased demand.
“There is still some panic among drivers here.
“There were plenty of people queueing outside when the tanker turned up here earlier.
“So we are still appealing to motorists to behave normally and reasonably.
“Use your common sense and don’t buy any more fuel than you need to.”
The Co-op outlet on Coventry Road, Market Harborough, was selling unleaded petrol this morning but had run out of diesel.
Staff there are hoping to get another fuel delivery tonight to top up the pumps.
Drivers were queueing up off Rockingham Road to fill up at Tesco’s station on the eastern edge of Market Harborough.
And there was still no diesel at the busy Sainsbury’s filling outlet on Springfield Street although customers were able to buy unleaded.