Comedian Jay Leno suffered serious burns to face in gasoline fire in his famed auto garage

Comedian Jay Leno, the former host of “The Tonight Show” who is also an avid collector of antique and classic cars, reportedly suffered injuries that required hospitalization during an incident inside his garage on Saturday, the Washington Examiner reported.

Leno is said to have received “serious burns” to his face after one of the vehicles in his garage unexpectedly burst into flames.

Burned in a gasoline fire

TMZ reported Monday that Leno had been working on the cars in his garage in Burbank, California on Saturday when one of the vehicles caught on fire and caused burns to the left side of the comic host’s face.

He was then transported by ambulance to the Grossman Burn Center and was admitted for treatment of his injuries.

According to People magazine, Leno’s hospitalization prompted the cancelation of a scheduled appearance at a forum event on Sunday in Las Vegas, Nevada, though the exact reason why was initially not disclosed.

“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 announcing Leno’s cancelation stated. “All we know is that he is alive, so our prayers go out to him and his family tonight.”

The outlet noted in an update that, according to George Swift, a friend and employee of Leno, the burns resulted from a gasoline fire that erupted in an incident involving a steam-powered vehicle, but that Leno’s injuries were “nothing life-threatening” and that the comedian was in “good spirits” while recuperating in the hospital.

Initial speculation focused on potential heart-health incident

Variety reported that Leno has since confirmed that he is “ok,” relatively speaking, in a statement that he provided to the media.

“I got some serious burns from a gasoline fire. I am ok. Just need a week or two to get back on my feet,” he said.

Due to the initial lack of details about the “serious media emergency” Leno had suffered that prompted the cancelation of his scheduled appearance at the Sunday event in Las Vegas, there was some speculation that he had experienced some sort of heart-related health issue.

Both Variety and People pointed out the speculation likely stemmed from the fact that Leno has in recent years become an outspoken proponent of people getting their cholesterol checked and keeping it maintained at a healthy level after he had been diagnosed in 2019 with high cholesterol and blockage in an artery.

“There’s a lot of people walking around like that, they’re just time bombs. You’ve got all this cholesterol, you don’t realize it until it actually hits, you know?” he said in an interview at that time, according to Variety. “It’s like in a car, if even one piece of dirt gets in the eye of the needle of the jet, and boom, and no more gas comes through. And that’s what happens with your heart.”

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