The former “Tonight Show” host described how he was working on a vintage car when the flames erupted and shared new details about his recovery.
WASHINGTON — Comedian Jay Leno said his face caught fire when flames erupted while working on a vintage car in his garage last month.
Leno, 72, The first recount took place During an interview with Huda Kotb from “Today”. What actually happened during the horrific incident on November 12 that left him with severe burns to his face, chest and hands.
The former “Tonight Show” host said he was working on a 1907 white steam car with his friend Dave Calacchi at the time.
“The fuel line was full so I was under it,” Leno said of the moments before. “I said, ‘Blow some air in the line … and all of a sudden, boom, my face looked full of gas. And then the pilot light jumped and my face caught fire.’
Leno explained that his friend didn’t realize what was happening at first.
“And I said to my friend, I said, ‘Dave, I’m on fire.’ And Dave’s like, ‘Okay.’ I said, ‘No, Dave, I’m on fire.’ And then, ‘Oh, my God’. Dave, my friend, pulled me out and jumped on top of me and kind of started the fire.”
Although Leno’s reaction may have been subdued at first, Kilkey told “Today” that “he was really wrapped up” and couldn’t see the comedian’s face, only “a wall of fire.”
Kilki acted quickly and pulled Leno’s head off his chest to fan the flames and then extinguish the car fire.
More important stories: Grant Wahl’s wife revealed the cause of death of the American football journalist.
“He asked me ‘how do I look’ and I think I said ‘no, this is going to be a bad thing,'” Kilkey said.
While doctors told Leno he needed to go to a burn center for treatment, the late-night comedy legend told “Today” that he actually drove himself home that night. He explained that his wife no longer drives and doesn’t want him to be stranded.
The next day, Leno went to the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital in Los Angeles, where he stayed for 9 days to treat his third-degree burns. Treatment included doctors scraping off layers of burnt skin, reconstructing her ear and spending eight hours a day in a hyperbolic chamber.
Despite the severe burns, Leno jokes now that he wasn’t too worried about how he looked afterward.
“When you look like me, you don’t really worry about what you look like. Look, if I’m George Clooney, it’s going to be a big problem. It’s going to be fine,” he said. My attitude is that I trust people who are the best at what they do,” Leno said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.