MODESTO, Calif. --
One of two Modesto firefighters injured battling a house fire earlier this month remains in serious but stable condition at UC Davis Medical Center, but his condition is slowly improving.
Modesto Fire Department Battalion Chief Hugo Patino said James Adams, an engineer with the department, is showing signs of getting better every day.
Meanwhile, Jason Clevenger, also injured in the New Year's Day fire, went into surgery Monday morning for skin grafts. Patino said in a statement that Clevenger's surgery was successful, and he's expected to remain at UC Davis for up to a week. He was transferred to the medical center's burn unit last Wednesday after treatment at Doctors Medical Center in Modesto.
Clevenger remains in good spirits, Patino said.
Both men were hurt when a roof gave way while they were fighting a blaze. Officials said it appears a resident of the home started the fire by accident.
Wendy White, who was living in the house with her two children, was relying on a generator in the garage to provide power, officials said. As she went to check the gas level, she dropped a candle, igniting the fuel.
A trust fund has been set up to help Adams' and Clevenger's families at the Modesto's 1st Federal Credit Union. Contributions can be made to the Modesto Firefighters Fund, Patino said.
A blood drive for Adams and Clevenger is scheduled for Jan. 18 at the Oakdale Rural Fire Protection District, located at 1398 East F St., from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling 209-470-4636 or 209-847-6898; walk-ins are also welcome.
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