Jay Leno talks about automotive mishap: ‘My face caught on fireplace.’

In his first interview since struggling main burns from a automotive fireplace whereas working in his storage, Jay Leno shared graphic particulars concerning the incident.

Leno and longtime buddy David Killackey sat for an interview with “Today” co-anchor Hoda Kotb inside Leno’s Burbank storage, the place Killackey witnessed the incident.

Leno, 72, joked his approach by means of the section. However Killackey was extra blunt.

“It was horrific,” Killackey mentioned. “It was a scary thing.”

Leno mentioned he had been working to restore a clogged gas line on his 1907 White steam automotive — considered one of many classic automobiles in his assortment — when gasoline shot out and ignited.

“And my face caught on fire,” Leno mentioned.

Leno known as out to Killackey, who ran over, grabbed him by the top, pulled him near his chest and smothered the flames along with his physique, Killackey recalled. Leno interrupted the retelling with a joke about “a bad Tinder date.”

“He downplays it all, but I’m telling you, he was engulfed,” Killackey mentioned. “I couldn’t see his face. It was a wall of fire.”

They mentioned Leno ran over to a rest room sink to run chilly water on his face whereas Killackey put out the gasoline fireplace. When Killackey went to verify on his buddy, he mentioned, he noticed a number of layers of Leno’s pores and skin peeling and instantly known as 911.

“He asked me, ‘How do I look?’ I said, ‘Not good,’” Killackey recalled.

Burbank fireplace paramedics who responded to the storage instructed him he wanted to go to a burn heart instantly. However Leno mentioned he declined an ambulance trip to a hospital , and as an alternative drove himself house.

“My wife doesn’t drive anymore, and I didn’t want her stuck,” Leno mentioned of Mavis Leno, his spouse of 4 many years. “It seemed like the right thing to do.”

Leno spent the subsequent 9 days hospitalized on the Grossman Burn Middle in West Hills for therapy of burns to his face, chest and fingers. Whereas there, medical doctors scraped away layers of burned pores and skin, and he spent eight hours a day in a hyperbaric chamber to help the therapeutic course of. Leno known as the chamber “a glass coffin” and joked about not with the ability to talk with medical workers.

When Kotb requested him what was going by means of his head throughout his hospital keep, Leno mentioned he was already rehearsing jokes for his stand-up act. Inside days of his launch in late November, Leno carried out a set on the Comedy & Magic Membership in Hermosa Seashore.

For the “Today” interview, Leno introduced with him a replica of the Nationwide Enquirer, which ran a canopy story concerning the automotive fireplace. He held up the difficulty through the interview, poking enjoyable on the headlines together with one which known as him “a human torch.”

“You have to laugh at it,” Leno instructed Kotb, shrugging. “It is kind of funny.”

Leno mentioned he didn’t need to be a “whiny celebrity” with “all these cars, this beautiful house” complaining about what occurred to him. He mentioned folks would simply inform him, “Shut up!”

“In the real world, this happens to people every single day,” Leno mentioned. “People who work with their hands get injured every single day.”

When Kotb requested whether or not he’d be extra skittish round automobiles, Leno mentioned no and added, “Did I learn from this?” He puckered his lips and blew, as if spitting spitting water whereas laughing. “Of course not,” he mentioned.