Residents: Oil companies slow to respond to heating issues

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LEVITTOWN -

Some Long Islanders told News 12 that heating companies still haven't responded to their calls for help after losing heat during the recent deep freeze. 

The Melendez family in Levittown used a wood-burning stove and a space heater as their primary sources for heating the second floor of their home. 

"The pipes were frozen, luckily [there are] no cracks," says Nicole Melendez. 

She says Petro, their home heating company, has broken six appointments in four days. 

"It's ridiculous. We are beside ourselves," she says. 

MORE: Statement from Petro Home Services 

Jim Barton's house in Stony Brook ran out of oil on Sunday. He says he's made multiple phone calls to Meehan but has not heard back. 

Barton says he has been adding about 10 gallons of diesel fuel to the tank each morning so the tank doesn't run dry once again.

"That was the biggest thing, not to have the pipes freeze," says Barton. "That would be a disaster."

The Melendez family later told News 12 that a technician did arrive at their house to fix the issue. The Bartons also received an oil delivery Tuesday. 

A spokesperson for Petro and Meenan told News 12 that they have been working tirelessly to respond to all of the calls. The spokesperson said some technicians are being called to homes where there is no true emergency, creating delays in getting to those who have one.  

Kevin Rooney, of the Oil Heat Institute of Long Island, says the main issue was the unprecedented demand for heating oil and gas during the two-week stretch of frigid weather.  

"Phone systems, which by definition are limited, they'll only handle so much volume," says Rooney. "The people who really do need to get through, who do have a legitimate emergency, they're the ones that can't get through."

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