GOOSE LAKE, Iowa (KWQC) - When the call came in that a fire broke out at ADM Grain, Adam Cain was just about to end his shift.
"It was shift change, you know they try to get the last shift out of there as soon as possible but it doesn't always work out like that," says Clinton Firefighter Adam Cain.
His parents had heard about the blast at ADM but considering the call came in on Saturday morning, around the time his shift ended, they thought Adam was asleep at home. Kevin and Lynn Cain went by their son's house to ask if he had heard what happened.
"The truck wasn't in his garage, and then you get that gut instinct that something's not right," says Lynn.
"Then we got a call from Pastor Lott telling us that there had been this accident and that Adam was hurt," added Kevin.
Adam says he doesn't recall much from that day.
"I don't remember the incident itself but the last thing I remember is me and Eric, me and Lt.Hosette on top and moving the hose around and then I remember waking up not knowing where I was or why I was in fire gear and then I lost consciousness again," says Adam.
He says he regained conscious one other time on scene and heard a Leuitenant calling his name. But after that doesn't remember anything until he woke up in Iowa City.
When Kevin and Lynn met up with the ambulance at the Home Depot, Kevin asked first responders if his son was badly burned. Adam wasn't burned. But Kevin and Lynn still didn't know what had happened, how or what was going on with their son. Police, Ambulance and firefighters hugged Kevin and Lynn and reassured that they would do everything they could to help.
"Then when they were able to get him stabilized enough to put him on the helicopter they did let us stop to see him. And I kissed him on the forehead before they placed him in the helicopter," Lynn says her voice slightly breaking.
Adam's brother Matt is a firefighter with Clinton. He was out of town visiting friends when he received the news via phone. Matt says he rushed to Iowa City and beat the helicopter to the hospital. As he watched the chopper landing with his little brother inside, Matt was overcome with emotion.
"Everything was heavy, at that time I had heard there was fatality I didn't know who. Not only had I lost a coworker, another one is injured and it's my brother so everything is different. It's hard because at the hospital I felt I couldn't be with the guys at the fire department like I should have been but I couldn't leave Adam," says Matt.
Kevin and Lynn say Matt was the rock of the family as they went through one of the most difficult times of their life.
Matt later learned that the coworker who had lost his life in the line of duty on January 5th was Lt. Eric Hosette. He was a friend and coworker the Cains had known for years. And doctors advised the Cains not to tell Adam what had happened until he was physically strong enough to handle the news.
Adam's initial state was so fragile doctors told Kevin and Lynn not to touch their son.
"That was probably one of the most difficult things as a parent. it was a real feeling of helplessness. There were times that Lynn will tell you that it made me almost physically ill to be in the room to see it," Kevin says as he closes his eyes.
A major milestone was when Adam was finally taken off the ventilator.
"He asked what happened, asked where Eric was, and how long he had been there," says his brother Matt.
When Adam was physically strong enough his family told him, Lt. Eric Hosette had died.
"I instantly became extremely nauseous and sick I didn't understand why that would happen," says Adam fighting back tears.
Doctors told Adam no matter how much pain he was in, he had to push through in order to heal.
"My family, my community my coworkers I knew that I had to get better it wasn't an option to give up," says Adam.
He describes the physical pain he was under as excruciating.
"Lacerations on my liver, broke my radius and ulna in my right arm, dislocated my elbow and have some pretty intense damage in my hand, small bruise on my brain, collapsed right lung, multiple broken ribs on the front, compression fracture on the front, multiple ribs broken in my back, kidney laceration, bruise to my heart, tore multiple ligaments in my elbow on the left side," says Adam.
Adam had to have two surgeries on his arms and his ribs are still healing as well.
The Cain family recalls a second major milestone in Adam's recovery. It was when he took his first steps. Adam recalls the stabbing pain he felt in his back, but with the encouragement of the staff and his family, he pushed through.
"It was amazing and being a mom, of course, I had to videotape it like when they take their first steps, it was amazing," says Lynn.
Adam says without question he will return to Clinton Fire God willing. Firefighting is in his blood.
"As a kid, you'd want to know where the lights and sirens are going and watching my dad go by in the firetruck I always thought I want to do what he's doing," says Adam with a smile. "The city of Clinton, you know they were there for me and you know I want to continue to be there for them."
The Cain family says they've been overwhelmed by the community support and outpouring.