Thick black smoke was coming from the single-story home at 732 S. McDowell Blvd. when firefighters arrived at about 2 p.m., Petaluma fire Battalion Chief Jeff Holden said.
The firefighter was burned when he opened the garage door, which released large amounts of pressurized smoke and gases and caused a fireball to burst from the front of the garage, Holden said.
A dog was rescued from a back bedroom, and two cats are believed to have escaped the blaze, Holden said.
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