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Jay Leno seriously burned in garage fire after vehicle erupts in flames

The 72-year-old comedian and former “Tonight Show” host said, "I got some serious burns from a gasoline fire. I am OK. Just need a week or two to get back on my feet.”
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LOS ANGELES — Jay Leno was seriously burned in a garage fire Saturday after one of his cars erupted in flames, he said Monday.

“I got some serious burns from a gasoline fire. I am OK. Just need a week or two to get back on my feet,” Leno, 72, said in a statement.

Leno was working when a flash fire started in a car, a representative said.

Leno has an estimated 180 cars and 160 motorcycles at his garage adjacent to Hollywood Burbank Airport, according to duPont Registry, a marketplace and publication for rare and classic auto collectors.

Leno was burned on his face and his hands, said a spokesperson for West Hills Hospital & Burn Center, the home of the Grossman Burn Center, where Leno was being treated.

"He is in good humor and is touched by all the inquiries into his condition and well wishes," the statement said.

The Burbank Fire Department said in a statement Monday that it responded to a medical emergency in the area of Leno's garage at 12:28 p.m. Saturday. The patient, whom the department didn’t publicly identify, was taken to a hospital.

Jay Leno performs at The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize tribute concert in Washington, on March 4, 2020.
Jay Leno at the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize tribute concert in Washington on March 4, 2020. Shannon Finney / Getty Images file

It’s not clear which vehicle was involved. Many of Leno’s vehicles, including steam-powered models and a jet-powered car, predate contemporary safety and efficiency standards.

The garage, which employs mechanics and support staffers to maintain and restore vehicles in the collection, is also the location of his Big Dog Productions company.

In July, duPont Registry estimated that Leno's car collection was worth a little more than $50 million and that his total net worth was about a half-billion dollars.

The garage, renowned among automobile aficionados for its ability to restore vehicles in house, is the site of two shows branded "Jay Leno's Garage" — one with weekly episodes on his 3.4 million-subscriber YouTube channel and his CNBC program featuring stars and their cars.

Leno, the former host of NBC’s “Tonight Show,” canceled a Las Vegas performance scheduled for Sunday night, People reported.

Leno's injuries and recovery weren’t expected to affect his CNBC show, which recently completed airing its seventh season.

All of his engagements for the week have been canceled.

He was initially rushed to a Burbank hospital Saturday before he was taken to a burn center in Los Angeles, a person familiar with the incident said.

His representative said the flames didn’t penetrate Leno’s eyes or ears.

Leno, a luminary in the car world, gets the kind of celebrity treatment his late-night show reserved for top guests.

His appearances at California's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and at the Audrain Concours + Motor Week in Newport, Rhode Island, generate local headlines.

In 2017, Big Dog registered the name, sketch and signature of Jay Leno for a possible line of car care products.

He has famously said he doesn't spend any of the millions of dollars he made hosting "The Tonight Show" on cars or anything else — he has it in savings.