Power surge ruptures gas line in east Modesto

A man trimming trees behind a Modesto church suffered severe burns when he cut through a 12,000-volt power line Monday afternoon, fire officials said.

The man, whose identity was not available, was taken to Memorial Medical Center around 2 p.m. in serious condition with burns to his arms, legs and back.

Power was knocked out to two apartment complexes and a church on Rose Avenue on the city’s east side, Modesto Fire Department Battalion Chief Dan Hinshaw said.

The severed power line created an electrical surge that caused the electrical box at the Calvary Lutheran Church to catch fire, but people there were able to put out the fire with an extinguisher, Hinshaw said.

Firefighters and emergency crews had to cap a gas leak.

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