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

LOS ANGELES — Jay Leno was seriously burned in a garage fire in Saturday after one of his cars erupted in flames, the comedian 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 said in a statement.

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

The comedian 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.

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

Leno was burned on his face and hands, according to a spokesperson for West Hills Hospital & Burn Center, 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, who the department did not identify, was taken to a hospital.

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 staff to maintain and restore vehicles in Leno’s 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.

The 72-year-old comedian and former “Tonight Show” host canceled a Las Vegas performance scheduled for Sunday night, People reported.

Leno’s injuries and recovery were not expected to impact 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 on Saturday before he was taken to a burn center in Los Angeles, a person familiar with the incident told NBC News.

The flames did not penetrate Leno’s eyes or ears, the representative said.

Leno is a luminary in the car world and 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.

The comedian 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.


Dennis Romero, Gemma DiCasimirro and Lindsey Pipia contributed.

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