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Petaluma firefighter injured in pit bull attack

A Petaluma firefighter helping treat a westside man with a medical problem Monday afternoon needed aid himself after the man's dog attacked him, a fire official reported Tuesday.

Firefighters had been called to an English Street home just before 2 p.m.

"We were inside the residence treating the patient. With no warning, a pit bull came charging through the house," said Petaluma fire Capt. Martin McCarville. "The dog just came out of nowhere at full speed. No barking, no warning."

The dog lunged at McCarville, striking his left hip. "It hit my side almost like a police dog attack," he said.

The dog bit the man's left leg. The fire captain spun and got the dog off of him, but the animal lunged again and bit his left hand.

The firefighters hustled the patient to safety on the porch and called city animal control officers.

McCarville suffered puncture wounds to his leg and hand, he said. He was treated at a Kaiser out-patient clinic and returned to work.

The dog attack was a first for the 24-year firefighter, who joked afterward about being the dog's chew toy. "It was a little shocking," McCarville said.

Petaluma Animal Control Officer Jason Pietsch said the dog now is under a 10-day quarantine at its home.

In 2012, it had gotten into trouble after biting another dog, Pietsch said. Monday's incident remained under investigation.


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