PITTSFIELD -- A fire that burned a Pittsfield home over the weekend is being blamed on the careless use of butane gas, according to Pittsfield fire investigators.

City firefighters arrived at 163 Cheshire Road around 11 a.m. Saturday to find heavy smoke and flames in the basement of the single-story home.

The fire was contained to the basement, but the rest of the home sustained smoke damage. It was declared unfit for occupancy by the Pittsfield Building Department, said Deputy Fire Chief Keith Phillips.

Phillips said Tim Mack, 29, was using butane gas on top of an operating clothes dryer when its heating element ignited the vapors and caught the ceiling on fire.

Mack suffered a minor second degree burn to his arm trying to douse the fire with water. When that didn't work, Mack grabbed his son, 2, who was upstairs and fled the building. They have since found other living arrangements, city fire officials said.

The estimated cost of damage is $20,000. The house is owned by Tom Renton.

To reach Dick Lindsay:

rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com,

or (413) 496-6233