Jay Leno reveals a friend 'smothered the flames' after steam car fire

Jay Leno reveals a friend ‘smothered the flames’ after his 1907 steam car erupted into flames while he was fixing a clogged fuel line, leaving him with serious burns to his face that will likely require skin grafts

  • The former Tonight Show presenter was in his Los Angeles garage when one of his cars ‘erupted into flames without warning’
  • An employee for the comedian confirmed to one outlet Monday that it was one of Leno’s steam cars that erupted and sent him to the hospital 
  • Leno credited his friend, Dave, with saving his life by jumping on the comedian and smothering the flames
  • It’s now reported that the one-time king of late night may need skin grafts to deal with his injuries 
  • Leno is being treated the burn ward at Grossman Burn Center which he called the best burn unit in the United States
  • The star missed an appearance at a financial conference in Las Vegas on Sunday, and will take a ‘week or two’ to get back on his feet

Iconic TV host Jay Leno says that a fast thinking friend saved his life after a gasoline fire broke out in his luxury LA garage on Saturday as the one time king of late night faces the possibility of needing skin grafts. 

The former Tonight Show host, 72, was at his Los Angeles mansion when one of the vehicles ‘erupted into flames without warning’ – with sources telling TMZ the left side of his face was burned.

In a statement Leno 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.’

He later told TMZ that it was his friend, Dave, who saved his life, by jumping on him and smothering the flames. 

The host said that he was repairing a clogged fuel line when he got sprayed on his hands and face with gasoline.  

Leno was taken to the burn ward at Grossman Burn Center according to TMZ, with his eye and ear not affected by the fire. On Monday, Page Six reported that Leno may need skin grafts as a result of the burns. 

George Swift, a mechanic in the comedian’s personal garage, told ET that it was a steam car that sent Leno to the hospital. 

‘It was a steam car. This steam was made by gas. It got sprayed, as a gas,’ Swift, a mechanic who works at the garage, said.  

‘He called me, and he told me there was a fire and the fire department is coming,’ the employee continued. 

In a separate interview with Access Hollywood, Swift said that Leno is ‘going to be fine.’ He added: ‘It’s nothing life-threatening. He’s in great spirits, but you know, it’s going to take a while.’ 

Leno with 1907 White Steam Car – George Swift, an employee for the comedian, told ET that it was a steam car that sent Leno to the hospital

The Grossman Burn Center where Leno is being treated, he referred to the medical center as the ‘best in the United States’

In a statement Leno (pictured in a shot on his Instagram yesterday) 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’

Jay Leno’s Garage warehouse in Los Angeles where the accident that left Leno with serious burns happened last Saturday


He joined President Biden at the secret service training ground to discuss hot-rodding and the future of electric cars earlier this year

The Burbank Fire Department also spoke with ET and confirmed that they were dispatched to Leno’s luxury garage around 12.30pm Saturday for reports of a fire. 

Upon arriving at the scene in the 3100 block of North Damon Way, ‘one adult male’ was assessed and treated. 

Leno was transported to a local emergency room and then taken to the Grossman Burn Center for further care. 

A spokesperson for the medical center told People: ‘Jay wants everyone to know that he is in stable condition and receiving treatment … for burns that he received to his face and hands from a gasoline accident in his garage over the weekend.’

She continued: ‘ He is in good humor and is touched by all the inquiries into his condition and well wishes. [He] wants to let everyone know he is doing well and is in “the best burn center in the United States.”‘

The Burbank Police Department told DailyMail.com that they were not called to the scene of the fire.  

Leno had previously shared details on his extensive collection of Barrons.com, sharing more details on how he acquired the lot of old-school cars. 

The steam cars, which he had said are ‘reliable and dependable,’ require a boiler to heat water to steam which then is used to drive a piston that turns the vehicle’s wheels.

In 2021, the ‘Tonight Show’ veteran was actually stopped in his 1906 Stanley Steamer for speeding on Interstate 405 in California. 

Leno’s steam collection includes ‘cars, stationary engines, and even an enormous Advance steam tractor,’ according to the 2021 story published by Barrons. 

Following the incident inside his garage Saturday, he canceled a performance in Las Vegas scheduled for the next day after event organizers revealed he suffered a ‘serious medical emergency.’

An email to Forum 2022 attendees from The Financial Brand and obtained by People  read: ‘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.

‘All we know is that he is alive, so our prayers go out to him and his family tonight.’ It is understood Leno has canceled his engagement for the week as a precaution, after being rushed to hospital.

Jay Leno’s Garage posted a picture of the host posing inside of his garage with three of his extensive car collection yesterday on Instagram.

The star has more than 180 vehicles including exotic cars, hypercars and museum-grade artifacts, according to US News & World Report.

His collection includes vehicles which are both affordable and attainable, with the host of Jay Leno’s Garage having an affinity for motor vehicles.

It is not the first time the star has put himself at risk with his beloved vehicles, as he was left visibly shaken after getting in a car crash while filming the CNBC show in 2016 with legendary stunt driver Bob Riggle.

Both ended up upside down after Riggle lost control and the car rolled over, though neither were hurt.

Leno – whose eye and ear was not affected in the blaze – has been taken to the burn ward at Grossman Burn Center

The former Tonight Show presenter missed an appearance at a financial conference – with an email to Forum 2022 attendees from The Financial Brand and obtained by People confirming the star is in ill-health

The star has an extensive collection of cars, and was working on one at the time of the incident

Leno enjoys showing off his extensive collection of cars, which are kept in pristine condition in his garage – with this pair of Buick Roadsters being his first cars when he moved to LA

The star is pictured with wife Mavis in 2013, and boasts an impressive car collection of more than 180 vehicles

In 2019, he spoke about his battle with high cholesterol after he was shown a scan of a blockage in his heart. 

Working in collaboration with Cholesterol 911, he urged others to overhaul their lifestyles. 

He said; ‘We really want people to see the connection, because a lot of people don’t realize high cholesterol — and if you’ve had a heart attack or stroke, you’re increasing your risk for another one. 

‘It’s like an earthquake, it might not destroy the house, but it certainly weakens the structure.’ 

‘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?

‘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.’

He has previously detailed taking medication and using a portable EKG device that monitors his heart rhythm and detects irregular heartbeats. 

Leno added: ‘I’m not one of those guys. I don’t run five miles a day and do all that kind of stuff. 

‘Hopefully I’m appealing to people who think like me, which is probably the majority of the population, who would like to do more but not if it sounds like kind of a pain. 

Iconic TV host Jay Leno, 72,  confirmed that he suffered serious facial burns and been hospitalized after a car in his garage set alight on Saturday 

A Mercer Type 35J ‘Raceabout’ was the first mass produced dual purpose sports/race car produced in the pre WW1 era and will set you back almost 1 million USD and is part of Jay Leno’s extensive car collection

The star was joined by Joe Biden on an episode of his show in October, with the thrill-seeking president pushing his beloved Corvette to over 100mph while drag racing

Biden also appeared in Leno’s car-centric television show while he was vice president, in October 2016

‘But this is not a pain, it’s really simple. You go to the doctor, it’s a quick visit, he can tell you what you need to do.’

The star was joined by Joe Biden on an episode of his show in October, with the thrill-seeking president pushing his beloved Corvette to over 100mph while drag racing.

Biden and Leno reunited this summer, and drove his 1967 Corvette Stingray around the James J. Rowley Secret Service training facility in Beltsville, Maryland.

The president whizzed around at astounding speeds of 118mph in front of the camera, while he admitted that he missed being able to drive himself around while living in the White House.

Biden also appeared in Leno’s car-centric television show while he was vice president, in October 2016.

The president, who frequently discusses his love of cars, raced Colin Powell in that episode – before he died October last year at the aged 84.

In 2016, Powell lost the race to Biden, and Michael, 59, said he intended to avenge his father – saying he would ‘settle the score’.

Michael was driving a 2015 Corvette with 455 horsepower V8 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission, worth $55,000.

Biden was racing him in his $150,000 1967 Stingray, with 350 horsepower and a four-speed manual gearbox.

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