Jay Leno said that his face caught fire last month in the garage fire that hospitalized him for more than a week.
The comedian shared details about the fire at his Los Angeles garage and his injuries in an exclusive interview that will air Wednesday on NBC’S “TODAY” show.
In a clip of the interview released Tuesday, Leno told Hoda Kotb that while in the same garage where they were sitting and working on his 1907 White Motor Company steam-powered car with a friend, he noticed that the vehicle’s fuel line was clogged.
“So, I was underneath it, trying to clog, and I said, ‘Blow some air through the line,'” Leno recalled. “Then suddenly, boom, I got a face full of gas. And then the pilot light jumped, and my face caught on fire.”
“My friend pulled me out and jumped on top of me and kind of smothered the fire,” Leno said.
The 72-year-old former “Tonight Show” host had serious burns to his hands and chest and third-degree burns to his face after his vintage car erupted in flames Nov. 12 in his Los Angeles garage.
He was taken by ambulance to a hospital, then sent to the Grossman Burn Center in Los Angeles where he received hyperbaric treatment, an oxygen therapy that “can accelerate burn wound healing,” according to the Grossman Burn Center’s website.
“I got some serious burns from a gasoline fire,” the longtime TV host said in a statement last month. “I am OK. Just need a week or two to get back on my feet.”
Dr. Peter Grossman, director of the Grossman Burn Center, told NBC Los Angeles that Leno had burns to “approximately 7% of his body.”
Grossman said temporary skin grafts from “human cadaver skin” were used in Leno’s treatment.
The comedian left the center after a 10-day stay and continued with outpatient care for the burns.
A smiling Leno posed for pictures with hospital staff on his way out, revealing some of his burns.
The comedian returned to standup days after he was released from the burn center with a sold-out performance at The Comedy & Magic Club in California.
“Never thought of myself as a roast comic,” he joked at the event. “We got two shows tonight, regular and extra crispy.”
Leno, host of reality series “Jay Leno’s Garage,” is well-known for his love of cars. He has an estimated 180 cars and 160 motorcycles at his garage near Hollywood Burbank Airport, according to duPont Registry, a marketplace and publication for rare and classic auto collectors.