Jay Leno is hospitalized with facial burns after a car fire Sunday.
“I got some serious burns from a gasoline fire,” Leno said in a statement to Variety. “I am ok. Just need a week or two to get back on my feet.”
TMZ first reported that the comedian and host of “Jay Leno’s Garage” was in his Los Angeles-area garage Sunday when a car “erupted into flames without warning.” Flames burned the left side of Leno’s face, but did not penetrate the eye or ear, according to the report, which cited anonymous sources with direct knowledge of the matter.
He was taken to the burn ward at Grossman Burn Center where he remained as of Monday, and has canceled all engagements for the next two weeks, per the TMZ report.
TMZ spoke to Leno, who said he was fixing a clogged fuel line on his 1907 White Steam Car when a fuel leak sprayed gasoline on his face and hands. A simultaneous spark set off an explosion that set Leno on fire. Leno said his friend Dave acted quickly and doused the flames. Leno did not give a last name for Dave.
Leno shared that he has third-degree burns and may need skins grafts, and that he expects to be hospitalized for five to 10 days, according to TMZ.
News of a health issue was first reported by People magazine. Leno was supposed to appear at a financial conference in Las Vegas Sunday, but had to cancel due to a “serious medical emergency.” Leno’s facial burns or their cause were not disclosed at the time, however.
“His family was not able to provide us very many details, but there was a very serious medical emergency that is preventing Jay from traveling,” an email to attendees published by People read.
Leno is known for taking a hands-on approach to his vast collection of cars and motorcycles, putting his own mechanical knowledge to work in keeping them running alongside a paid staff.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with information on what car Leno was working on, what caused the fire, the injuries incurred, and how long Leno expects to be in the hospital.
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