A Pasadena man and a Huntington Beach woman won their divisions in the wildfire-delayed inaugural Pasadena Marathon, and a police officer working on security for the contest pulled a man out of a burning house.
Jacques Sallberg, 34, of Pasadena was the men's winner, completing the 26-mile, 385-yard course in 2 hours, 25 minutes, 49 seconds. Ieng Klukken, 37, of Huntington Beach, was the women's winner in 3:05:50, according to results released by race organizers.
Officer Kerry Schilf of the Burbank Police Department was part of a joint patrol handling crowd control for the race at 7 a.m. when he saw heavy smoke coming from a home in the 1700 block of East Del Mar Boulevard, near Pasadena City College, a block off the racecourse, said Pasadena fire spokeswoman Lisa Derderian.
Schilf ran to the residence, kicked down the door and found a man disoriented by the smoke, whom he led to safety, she said.
Pasadena firefighters put out the blaze in 15 minutes.
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The man suffered smoke inhalation and his hair was singed, but he refused to go to the hospital, wanting to stay with his injured cats, Derderian said.
One of the cats was resuscitated by Pasadena bike team paramedics, but three others died as a result of the fire.
Ironically, smoke and ash from wildfires four months ago caused race organizers to delay the race until Sunday.
About 2,000 people participated in the race, which began and ended at Pasadena City College.
About 1,500 cyclists participated in the bicycle tour, 3,500 runners in the half-marathon, 1,400 in a 5K run and 700 in a fun run, according to Li Minot of Pasadena Forward, which organized the race.
The marathon raised funds for the Pasadena Arts Council; the Pasadena Education Foundation; the historic preservation organization Pasadena Heritage; and Young & Healthy, which provides free medical, dental, psychological and case-management services to low-income, uninsured children in Pasadena Unified School District schools, day care centers and homeless shelters in the Pasadena area.
Pasadena Fire Dept. later said the cause of the blaze was an electrical fire in the home office.