Jay Leno Recovering From Surgery After Suffering Second- and Third-Degree Burns in Gasoline Fire

On November 12th, former Tonight Show host, Jay Leno, was repairing a clogged fuel line on his 1907 White Motor Company steam-powered car when he suffered second-and third-degree burns to his face, chest, and hands. The incident occurred around 12:30 PM in one of Leno’s garages in Los Angeles. 

The 72-year-old was working underneath the vehicle when gasoline leaked onto his face. Before he could wipe himself down, a spark set 7% of his body on fire. While he was quickly pulled out from underneath the vehicle, it wasn’t quick enough as he suffered “serious injuries” that he continues to recover from. 

On Monday, Leno released his first statement since the incident. “I got some serious burns from a gasoline fire. I am ok. Just need a week or two to get back on my feet,” said the current host of Jay Leno’s Garage. Leno was assessed and treated by the Burbank Fire Department before being sent to a hospital. 

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As of right now, Jay Leno is being treated at the Grossman Burn Center in West Hills Hospital – where he underwent a surgical excision and grafting procedure to expedite the healing process. After a few days, doctors will remove the temporary skin grafts and begin working towards a more permanent solution. 

On Wednesday, Dr. Peter Grossman – director of Grossman Burn Center – spoke with reporters outside the medical facility to give an update on Leno’s condition. While he reiterated that the injuries are ‘serious,’ he reiterated that the comedian’s condition is good and a full recovery is expected eventually. 

“Currently, there’s no evidence of nerve damage. I do anticipate him making a full recovery. Whether they’ll be remnants of this injury, it’s still too early to tell,” said Grossman. He hopes to release Jay Leno in a week or so, but that can change at any moment – especially when they get a better look at the damage.

With that said, the doctor hopes Leno and his family understand that treatment may “take some time.” He fears Leno might try to return to work earlier than recommended – noting he’s someone driven by his passions – and would rather him “step it back a little” while his body initiates the natural healing process.

Jay Leno is Being His Normal, Appreciative Self – Despite the Injuries

jay leno recovering from surgery after suffering second- and third-degree burns in gasoline fire
FeatureFlash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

If you thought this incident was going to bring Jay Leno down and ruin his usually-positive spirit, then you were wrong. According to Grossman, he has been his normal ‘stoic’ self – adding he’s very appreciative of the level of care, love, and support he’s receiving from doctors, family, friends, colleagues, and fans.

“He’s Jay Leno. He’s walking around and he’s cracking jokes. I can tell you he’s incredibly kind to our nursing staff. … He’s been appreciative of everybody here and he’s an ideal patient, and one who understands the seriousness of his injury,” said Grossman, adding he remains ‘in good spirits.’ 

Those who know Jay Leno and have followed his career won’t be surprised to learn this. He has always been a down-to-earth, selfless, and good-humored individual. In fact, the doctor expressed how Leno even feels “a little embarrassed of the attention that he’s getting” and ‘just wants to be a regular guy.’

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Another thing we’re learning from Dr. Grossman – Jay Leno has a high pain tolerance. The doctor explained how ‘burns are probably the most painful type’ before adding that Leno seems to have a ‘very high pain threshold.’ Despite the hand he was dealt, he refuses to complain and remains ‘very gracious.’

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