Sunday, January 3, 2010

Community Responds to Injured Firefighters

On Facebook

During the night on January 1st . . . almost January 2nd, the roof of a garage on fire collapsed . . . while two Modesto Firefighters were on it. JD Clevenger {Jason}, who was burned on 10% of his body, and JW Adams {Jim}, who had burns over 40% of his.

Firefighters train. They train a lot. They know how to tell if it isn't safe to be on a roof. Of course, fire is inanimate. It does what it does because that is the way fire behaves. In this case, it appears that there may have been an alteration of the roof's construction that caused it to fail, when all the training in the world said it shouldn't. And besides these two men, an entire community of firefighters and their families are loving each other just a little bit harder.

We have felt so complacent and confident for such a long time. My husband has been a firefighter in Modesto for 29 years. There have been almost no similar injuries during his entire career. There have been terrible, life altering, injuries, but never this type. I have been asked a thousand times over the years how I manage to keep from worrying every minute. I explain the training, and the confidence that I have in my Man's strength, experience and most especially his judgement.

A couple of years ago . . . I hit a car in a parking lot while backing out. I was intent on watching two bouncing children coming my way . . . when I heard that awful smash, I had no idea what I had hit. None. Couldn't reconcile it. . . . it changed me, as small an event as that was . . . for a while I had little confidence driving at all, and I had never been in an at-fault accident before. I still park at the end of the parking lot where there is ample space . . . and walk . . . and call it exercise.

If something as small as my fender bender in a parking lot can do that to a person's psyche . . . what can this catastrophic roof collapse and the resulting injuries do to those men, this entire Fire department and their families?

Please pray for JD Clevenger and JW Adams. Please pray for their physical and mental well being. Please pray that infection will never plague them and they will have miraculous healings and successful surgeries, and . . . the pain. Please pray for the pain.

Please pray for their wives and children and parents, brothers and sisters, possibly grandparents. It is also so very difficult for all of them.

I understand that the community of Modesto has shown such compassion and caring that strong men are brought to tears. In response to the needs of these two men and their families, the City of Modesto administrators, the Modesto Police Department, the Fire Department, {chiefs and rank and file} have begun to show what they are really made of . . . and they are made of fine stuff.

The show of support from other fire departments has been touching. Touching indeed. I will try to gather stories of the thoughtfulness and kindnesses to report to you, later.

In the meantime, the affected, who really, really can use your prayers for comfort and healing {in addition to those already mentioned above}, are the 911 dispatchers, AMR crews, the doctors and nurses, the woman and her two children, residents of the house that burned, {especially the woman who accidentally started it}, the neighbors who were witnesses, the other firefighters on scene, JD and JW's captain {Captain Ewert}.

Thank you for your care and concern, and prayers . . . especially your prayers. Most especially your prayers.

Please feel free to join the Facebook group, above, posted under the video.

from Debbi ~ {a Modesto Firefighter's wife}


  1. Oh, so tragic. I will definitely keep everyone in my prayers. Most definitely... Thanks for sharing. I will also pass that onto my own fireman. Just never take anything for granted.

    Thanks for stopping by. I am excited to be back blogging and seeing what everyone has been up to.

  2. Debbie thank you for posting this and asking for prayers. Done. No questions asked. It breaks my heart when I hear stories like this. It's heart wrenching. Keep us updated.

  3. Hi Debbie - My grandfather was a firefighter in San Francisco and he also fell through a damaged roof. My prayers and love to both these brave souls and their families. Thank you for posting this.