‘My face caught on fire’: Jay Leno details serious burn injuries after garage fire a month ago
Jay Leno is speaking in depth about the burns he suffered on his face and body in a garage fire last month.
The 72-year-old star, in a preview of an interview with NBC News’ Today slated to air in its entirety Wednesday, explained to Hoda Kotb the series of events in the injury he suffered in the November 12 accident as he worked in his garage alongside his friend Dave Killackey.
‘It was a 1907 White Steam Car,’ the former host of The Tonight Show said. ‘The fuel line was clogged so I was underneath it. It sounded clogged and I said, “Blow some air through the line,” and suddenly, boom, I got a face full of gas. And then the pilot light jumped and my face caught on fire.’
The latest: Jay Leno, 72, is speaking in depth about the burns he suffered on his face and body in a garage fire last month. He was pictured last month at a show following the incident
Leno said Killackey was fast to his aid in the critical moments.
‘I said to my friend, I said, “Dave, I’m on fire,”‘ he said. ‘And then, “Oh, my God.” Dave, my friend, pulled me out and jumped on top of me and kind of smothered the fire.’
Leno was treated for third-degree burns at the Grossman Burn Center in West Hills, California in the wake of the incident, remaining at the facility for 10 days amid his recovery.
The comedy icon had ‘relatively serious’ burns to ‘approximately 7 percent of his body,’ spanning his face, chest and hands, the director of the medical facility, Dr. Peter Grossman, told NBC News last month.
Leno was treated for third-degree burns at the Grossman Burn Center in West Hills, California in the wake of the incident, remaining at the facility for 10 days amid his recovery
Leno hosted NBC’s The Tonight Show from 1992 until his departure in 2014
Grossman said that ‘human cadaver skin’ was used for temporary skin grafts to aid Leno’s healing, and that he will likely have to undergo surgery in the future to treat the injuries.
Grossman said that Leno has ‘very high pain threshold,’ describing him as ‘very gracious,’ ‘very friendly’ and ‘very stoic individual [who’s] just not one who wants to complain.’
Leno issued a statement November 14, telling his fans, ‘I got some serious burns from a gasoline fire. I am OK. Just need a week or two to get back on my feet.’
After his release from the medical facility November 21, Leno was back onstage performing November 27 at the Comedy and Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, California, where he’s had a running Sunday set since 1978.
He told media at the event: ‘We got two shows tonight, regular and extra crispy.’
Leno on Sunday penned a column for The Wall Street Journal in which he spoke about his mindset in the wake of the traumatic incident.
‘You have to joke about it,’ he said. ‘There’s nothing worse than whiny celebrities. If you joke about it, people laugh along with you.’
He said that he ‘had a brand new face’ eight days after the accident, joking, ‘It’s better than what was there before.’
Leno said of the incident, ‘But really, it was an accident, that’s all. Anybody who works with their hands on a regular basis is going to have an accident at some point. If you play football, you get a concussion or a broken leg. Anything you do, there’s a risk factor.’
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