Ed Balls has accused ministers of deliberately inciting a panic over fuel supplies in order to distract from bad headlines, after the Unite union said it had ruled out holding a strike over Easter.
The shadow chancellor said some people were paying a "very, very high price" following government advice that people stockpile some fuel in case there was a tanker driver strike.
On Friday a woman suffered 40% burns to her body when petrol ignited as she transferred it between containers in her kitchen.
The woman, named locally as Dianne Hill, was decanting fuel from one container to another in the house in York when it ignited and set fire to her clothing, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said.
Balls told the BBC that the government had been playing "political games" in recent days.
"I think the prime minister woke up on Monday morning and thought 'I've got the worst weekend I've had in government', because of the Tory donation scandal after a Budget which had been judged by the country to be deeply unfair, and he thought 'Why don't I try to divert attention?" he said.
"So suddenly, out of the blue, we had government ministers talking up a strike which wasn't even called - there's no date for this strike.
"When he should have been responsible, he decided to wind this up, he sent out his Cabinet minister to say 'fill up your jerrycans' and we've ended up with these queues, even though there's normal petrol deliveries, there's no strike, there has to be seven days' notice even if there was a strike.
Francis Maude has been heavily criticised in some quarters for advising motorists to fill "jerrycans" with petrol.
Balls said: "It was a political invention, the panic of the last couple of days, and the nation and some people are paying a very, very heavy price for that.
"I think it's backfired because I think people have generally seen that these are schoolboy political games being played by people who should be doing responsible jobs."
Labour’s shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle, said the government had given people "contradictory and at times dangerous advice" on filling up and stockpiling fuel.
"Ministers should have been working to get both sides around the table to negotiate. A strike has still not been announced and Ministers must give the negotiations their full attention instead of stirring up panic buying with their reckless attempt to politicise this dispute," she said.
Labour MP Karl Turner said Maude should resign if if "his politicking and unnecessary panic has led to York woman decanting petrol in kitchen suffering 40% burns".
While Labour backbencher John Mann, who earlier this week challenged George Osbone over the "pasty tax", said Maude should quit now.
"This is precisely what the fire brigade warned against and the current panic is a direct result of Francis Maude’s rash and foolish reaction to negative press on pasty’s and number 10 dinners we are now in a position where a woman’s life has been placed in danger," he said.
"Francis Maude should now be considering the consequences of his actions and do the decent thing and resign”.
But a Cabinet Office spokesperson has told the Guardian: "He is not resigning. I cannot be any clearer".
But Michael Fallon, the deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, said it was "unwise" for politicians to comment on the incident until the cause was known.
"I'm very sorry to hear what happened to that particular lady, and i hope she recovers," he told Sky News. "Politicians would be unwise to comment until we know why she was storing petrol in her house."
"The government has a responsibility to make perpetration to make sure fuel gets to hospitals and the emergency services," he said.
He added: "It has a responsibility to warn people that a strike might be in the offing."