Modesto 12,000-volt power line cut, worker burned

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 in Modesto about 2 p.m. in serious condition with second- and third-degree burns to his arms, legs and back, said Modesto Fire Department Battalion Chief Dan Hinshaw. By late afternoon, the man was conscious but still in serious condition, Hinshaw said.

Power was knocked out to two apartment complexes and a church on Rose Avenue. The severed line created an electrical surge that caused the electrical box at Calvary Lutheran Church to catch fire, but people there put out the fire with an extinguisher, Hinshaw said.

Firefighters and emergency crews worked to cap a gas leak there.