updated 5/18/2005 1:02:35 PM ET 2005-05-18T17:02:35

A pit bull that had once bitten a person fatally mauled a young girl before being subdued by firefighters using a fire extinguisher, officials said.

The girl, who was 2 or 3 years old, was pronounced dead at a hospital following the attack Tuesday at the dog owner’s home, police Sgt. Dan Underwood said. Her name was not released.

“The girl, her mother and at least two other people were apparently hanging out on the house’s porch,” Underwood said. “The homeowner apparently told them all to stay out of the house where the dog was.”

It was not known what provoked the dog.

Huntington firefighter Jason Price said the dog was wild-eyed and the hair on the back of its neck was raised, and that it rammed the door like a bull.

“Hollywood couldn’t have made this dog look more evil,” he said.

The pit bull’s owner, who also was not identified, had posted several “beware of dog” signs and was keeping the dog inside the house because it had previously bitten another person, said Debbie Young, office manager for Huntington-Cabell-Wayne Animal Control.

“A lot of people are under the impression that once they put those warning signs, they are in the clear. ... They are responsible for that animal,” Young said.

No charges have been filed, authorities said Wednesday.

Young said animal control officials will ask a judge to order that the dog be destroyed.

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