A Petaluma firefighter helping treat a westside resident with a medical problem Monday afternoon needed aid himself after a pitbull at the home attacked him, a fire official reported Tuesday.

Firefighters had been called to an English Street home just before 2 p.m. for a man needing medical help. They'd just arrived and were starting to assess the man's condition when the seemingly routine call took a turn.

"We were inside the residence treating the patient. With no warning, a pitbull 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.

Wanting to get away from the pitbull, the firefighters hustled the patient to safety to 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 outpatient 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.