Jay Leno discussed a garage fire that could have caused more damage if his friend Dave Killacky hadn’t been there to save him.
The 72-year-old retired Tonight Show host was fixing up a 1907 White Steam engine when something went wrong. His friend was working on a classic car in his garage in November.
“The fuel line was clogged, so I was under it,” Leno told “Today.” “It sounded like it was stuck and I said, ‘Blow air through the line,’ and all of a sudden … Boom my face was full of gas and the pilot light went off and my face was on fire.”
“I told my friend, ‘Dave, I’m on fire.’ It felt like my face was on fire,” Leno told People magazine. was.”
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Leno explained that he immediately realized that he had to close his eyes and hold his breath.
“I’m not one to panic, but I knew if I breathed in I would burn my lungs,” she explained. “I was under the car 10 seconds before Dave pulled me over. I could have lost my sight any further than that.”
Jay was admitted to the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital and underwent multiple surgeries to treat “severe burns to his face and hands,” including skin grafts. Leno also had scars from the fire on his chest.
“Dave, my friend, pulled me out and jumped on top of me and put the fire out,” Leno said.
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Burbank Fire Chief Dave Burke released an incident report that said officials responded to a “medical emergency” on Nov. 12 at 12:28 p.m.
Shortly after the accident, Leno made a statement about it to, “I got some serious burns from gasoline. I’m fine. I’ll be back on my feet in a week or two.”
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Leno underwent at least two surgeries at the burn center, one of which was a “surgical excision and grafting procedure.” He also insisted on using a hyperbaric chamber helps maintain good blood flow and reduce bacteria.
Dr. Peter Grossman was “optimistic that he will make a full recovery” and said in an accompanying release that he was “pleased with Jay’s progress.”
“Jay wants to let everyone know how grateful he is for the care he’s received and is so grateful for all the well wishes,” Grossman Burn Center said in a statement.
Dr. Grossman said that when Leno first arrived, the comedian’s “burns were deeper than he expected.” “Jay is definitely outstanding in terms of how well he recovered given the severity of his injuries,” Dr. Grossman said.
According to the Register, Leno refused to take any medication.
“Pain reminds me that I’m stupid!” he said.
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Two weeks after the incident, Leno joked about it at his first stand-up gig at The Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach.
“I never thought of myself as a fried comic,” he said. “We have two shows tonight: regular and extra crispy.”
She told The Wall Street Journal: “After eight days, I had a completely new face. It’s even better than before.
“But really, it was an accident, that’s all. Anyone who works with their hands regularly is going to have an accident at some point.”
Throughout the ordeal, Leno was grateful for the support of his fellow stars.
“[John] Travolta sent me a large Italian basket. Tom Selleck sent flowers. And Russell Crowe called from Australia. I’ve been in this business for a long time, and I felt that love is really influential,” he said.
Leno has long been a connoisseur car culture. Along with his rise as a stand-up comedian, he worked as a mechanic and now owns over 280 unique vehicles.
The incredible collection of rare, antique and vintage cars is reportedly worth between $50 million and $100 million.
On “Jay Leno’s Garage,” Leno chats with car enthusiasts about his favorite makes and models, as well as showing off his collection of expensive cars, motorcycles and off-road vehicles.