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Firefighters Injured in Fire

Engineer Jim Adams
Engineer Jim Adams
Firefighter JD Clevenger
Firefighter JD Clevenger
Fire Marshal Badge

You can send your messages of support to Engineer James Adams and Firefighter JD Clevenger at our contact page. Your message will be collected by the Modesto Fire Department and delivered to the Firefighter's Families.

Current Updates

Injured Firefighter to Return to Full Duty

Modesto, CAFire Engineer James Adams will returned to duty Monday, October 18, 2010. He reported to duty at Fire Station #1 at 8:00 a.m. Fire Station #1 is located at 610 11th Street, in Modesto. Fire Engineer Adams was injured on January 1st, when the roof of a burning house he was working on collapsed. The collapse engulfed him and Fire Fighter Jason Clevenger in room totally ablaze.   

Engineer Adams suffered burns to over 48% of his body. - 2nd and 3rd He was kept medically sedated for 21 days. He has undergone several skin grafts and extensive treatment for his injuries. Since February 15th he was moved to the UC Davis rehabilitation unit and underwent rigorous physical therapy and treatment. He was released home on February 22nd. His remarkable recovery can only be best described as miraculous.

Engineer Adams’ recovery has been ongoing and is expected to take most of this year. He continues to be seen at the UC Davis Medical Center as an outpatient. Physical therapy treatments will continue until James’ full release to duty.  James will return to duty under a modified assignment schedule until such time as he can return to full duty. Interim Fire Chief Michael Kraus said,” we have been waiting for Jim’s return to duty for quite some time. We are excited to have him back.”

Modesto, CA – Fire Fighter Jason Clevenger returned to full duty April 20, 2010. He reported to duty at Fire Station #5 at 7:00 a.m. Fire Station #5 is located at 200 W. Briggsmore Ave., in Modesto. Fire Fighter Clevenger was injured on January 1st, when the roof of a burning house he was working on collapsed. The collapse took him and Fire Engineer James Adams into the heart of the inferno.  


Fire Fighter Clevenger received second and third degree burns to over 10% of his body. He spent seventeen days in the hospital, including twelve days at the UC Davis Medical center Burn Unit, in Sacramento.  Since his release from the hospital, Jason has had to undergo regular physical therapy and rehabilitation for his injuries. For the last several weeks he has been assigned to a light duty assignment, with limited physical and strenuous activity being allowed. Tomorrow, he will return to full and active duty with no limitations. He returns to his regular assignment as the firefighter on Truck 5.


Fire Engineer Adams, critically injured in the January 1st incident, is home and undergoing physical therapy and rehabilitation for his injuries.  The date of his return to duty is dependent on the progress he is able to make. His rehabilitation is expected to take the better part of a year.


Engineer James Adams:

Station #5 Yellow Ribbon

Jim Adams Comes Home

  • Jim has been released from UC Davis and is on the road to recovery at home with his family.
  • Firefighters from Modesto Fire Department and Sacramento Fire Department gathered to encourage Jim as he continues his journey at home.
  • He has been working extremely and the family is looking forward to being home at last.
  • Amy, his wife, has begun reading the posts to him and he has expressed overwhelming gratitude to all who support him and his family.
  • The family wishes to express their appreciation for all of the thoughts and expressions of care for James that they have received.
Yellow Ribbon
Station #5 Yellow Ribbon

A Trust Fund has been established to provide assistance to the families

  • Contributions can be made to the Modesto Firefighter Fund.
  • The Trust Fund is available at the Modesto's 1st Federal Credit Union
  • The Credit Union is located at 430 12th St., Modesto, CA 95354
  • They are open Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • The telephone number to call is (209) 521-2020
Yellow Ribbon

Blood Drive was Planned for Adams and Clevenger:

  • Sponsored by the Oakdale Rural Fire Protection District (ORFPD)  and the Oakdale City Fire Department and Delta Blood Bank.
  • The Blood Drive was held on January 18, 2010
  • 65 units of blood were collected.
  • Additional donations can be made on behalf of Adams and Clevenger.
  • The Delta Blood Bank is located at 1900 West Orangeburg Ave., Modesto  (209) 549-8484.
  • The Modesto Fire Department wishes to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to the Oakdale Rural Fire Protection District, the Oakdale City Fire Department, and all who took the time to contribute blood.

Firefighter Clevenger Released from Hospital

Firefighter Jason Clevenger was released from Doctors Medical Center  at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, January 06, 2010.

  • He was transferred to the UC Davis Medical Center, Burn Unit, in Sacramento.
  • He had an appointment to have his burn injuries evaluated as an outpatient.
  • Physicians at UC Davis Medical Center determined the need to admit Firefighter Clevenger.
  • Doctors intend to provide additional treatment to his burns.
  • His stay at the Center is expected to last a couple of days.
  • Firefighter Clevenger has met and spent some time visiting with the Adams family.

Engineer James Adams:  Continues to be in serious but stable condition as of January 06, 2010.

  • He is still in a sedated state, which allows his body to rest and begin to heal itself.
  • He is showing signs of improved respiratory function.
  • His burns percentages were upgraded to 45% of his body.
  • It is expected that he will receive additional medical treatments on Friday.
  • Area Firefighters who are also burn survivors will be meeting with the family to share their experiences and to assist them negotiating through the maze of medical care options

Press Release

Modesto, CA – The condition of the two Modesto Fire Fighters injured in the January 1st house fire continues to be stable.

Firefighter Jason Clevenger's condition is listed as good. He continues to be a patient at Doctor’s Medical Center, in Modesto. It is expected that his stay will be extended for another several days. Afterward, there has been some discussion about transferring him to the UC Davis Medical Center, Burn Unit, for consultation with burn care specialists regarding future treatment and care of his injuries.

Engineer Adams’ is stable, although his condition is still listed as serious. He is under the care of the UC Davis Medical Center, Burn Unit physicians. They have already begun the lengthy process of treatment to heal and repair the burns to Adams. It is expected that his stay at UCD will last in excess of a month. Both families are grateful for the outpouring of support and prayers on behalf of their loved ones. They have asked that we respect their privacy during this difficult time. They will not be granting any interviews for the foreseeable future.

A group, supportive of these Modesto Fire Fighters, has been started on It is called, Modesto FD Truck Co 5 Injured Firefighters. As of now there are over 500 members who have joined, extending their best wishes and admiration for our injured brothers.

With regard to the incident, fire investigators and City of Modesto Building officials met at the scene of the fire in order to evaluate the continued stability of the structure. The investigation remains open.

To recap, the fire occurred on January 1st at 11:36 p.m. at 2308 Coston Ave. in Modesto. The residence is a single family, single story house. The first arriving fire companies arrived at 11:43 p.m. Heavy smoke visible was reported, indicating an active fire. Initial assignments included sending Truck Company 5 to the roof to vertically ventilate the structure. Venting the roof allows for the escape of the super-heated gases, the toxic smoke and improves the visibility and temperatures for the firefighters operating in the interior of the structure.

Fire Engineer Adams and Firefighter Clevenger laddered the roof. They were directly followed up the ladder by their Captain. The two sounded the roof with a tool to determine its stability to proceed. As they began their cut through the roof conditions instantaneously deteriorated. Firefighter Clevenger stated that he felt like he was standing on a mattress. Before they could vocalize the need to get off of the roof, it failed and collapsed, taking both of them into the inferno below. Their Captain immediately announced a “Mayday” indicating the roof collapse and the trapped firefighters. Upon the “Mayday” declaration the Rapid Intervention Company (RIC) went into action to rescue the downed firefighters. They entered the burning building and within two minutes both men were pulled to safety. The collapse occurred at 11:43 p.m., just six minutes after the fire department’s arrival. They were transported to area hospital by ambulance. Engineer Adams was later transferred to the UC Davis Medical Center, Burn Unit, where he is today. The sole purpose of the Rapid Intervention Company (RIC) is to be there in case of a firefighter down or entrapped. They can support the interior fire operation by softening the structure for the fire teams inside. They routinely break out windows, remove window bars. place ladders on the roof for secondary means of egress for ventilation crews, and disconnect the electrical and natural gas service.

The fire was caused when the occupant of the residence attempted to re-fuel a gasoline powered generator. The generator was being used inside of the garage. She was using a candle to illuminate the work area when it was dropped, starting the blaze.

Hugo P. Patino, Jr.
Battalion Chief
Public Information Officer
Modesto Fire Department
610 Eleventh Street
Modesto, CA 95354