Jay Leno recalls horrific accident: ‘I’m on fire… Oh my God’

Jay Leno has recounted his dramatic rescue by a close friend when he suffered severe burns in a horrific accident last month.

The funnyman and car fanatic revealed what caused the fiery explosion in the 72-year-old former Tonight Show host’s garage on November 12th.

“It was a 1907 White Steam Engine. The fuel line was clogged, so I was under it,” he said while talking to old friend David Killacky about working on the old car. “Today” anchor with Hoda Kotb. “It felt like it was stuck and I said, ‘Blow air through the line,’ and it did.”

According to Leno, the fuel line made a noise, “and all of a sudden I was full of gas.

“And then the pilot light went off and my face was on fire,” he recalls.

Fortunately, Leno says Killackey acted quickly.

Jay Leno spent 10 days in a Los Angeles burn center.

“I told my friend, I said, ‘Dave, I’m on fire.’ And Dave said, “Okay.” I said, “No, Dave, I’m on fire.” And then, “Oh my God.” “My friend Dave pulled me out and jumped on top of me and put out some kind of fire,” Leno recalled.

Leno was taken to Grossman Burn Center in Los Angeles, where he was treated for third-degree burns to his face, chest and hands during his 10-day stay. Leno too received a skin transplant and other surgical procedures.

Any scars weren’t immediately apparent in a new interview on “Today.”

Jay Leno in a hyperbaric chamber
Cameras captured Leno being treated in a hyperbaric chamber.
Inside Edition

But he was all smiles in a photo with clinic staff when he was discharged from the center on November 21. Leno wasted no time getting back into his classic cars, as the next day he was spotted cruising around Los Angles with a few whips.

This July 2010 photo shows Jay Leno driving around Los Angeles in his 1908 White Steam Car, which exploded in a garage fire.
Photos from July 2010 show Jay Leno driving his 1908 White Steam Car through Los Angeles when it exploded in a garage fire.

He even performed a comedy set to a sold-out crowd at the Comedy Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, California two weeks after the incident. However, he had trouble parking the car and hit a police car in the process.

Leno and Kotb’s full interview airs Wednesday on “Today.”


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