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Jay Leno could need skin grafts after being severely burned in gas explosion in his garage

On Wednesday, his doctor noted that there is some nerve damage but expects the comedian to make a full recovery. “He’s walking around and cracking jokes” and handing out cookies to children on the burn ward, his doctor said.

Jay Leno attends the Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Harvey Relief in Los Angeles on Sept. 12, 2017.John Salangsang/John Salangsang/Invision/AP

PROVIDENCE — Recovering at Grossman Burn Center in Los Angeles, comedian and former “The Tonight Show” host Jay Leno told TMZ that he could need skin grafts because he suffered third-degree burns after a gas fire in his garage on Saturday.

In a press conference on Wednesday, his doctor, Dr. Peter Grossman, said Leno has some nerve damage as well.

“Currently, there’s elements of nerve damage,” Grossman told reporters. “I do anticipate him making a full recovery. Whether there will be remnants of this injury is still way too early to tell.”

“Burn injuries are progressive and dynamic,” he explained. “It’s hard to predict what the final outcome will be at this stage in the game.”


Leno, who is often spotted around Newport and was seen at popular greasy spoon Wally’s Weiners in July, was severely injured and suffered “serious burns” from a gas fire, he said in a statement to the Globe.

“I got some serious burns from a gasoline fire. I am OK. ok. Just need a week or two to get back on my feet,” the host said in his statement on .told Variety.

The 72-year-old car collector told TMZ he was working on a 1907 White Steam Car on Saturday,11/13 fixing a clogged fuel line. A fuel leak sprayed gasoline on his hands and face and a spark ignited triggered an explosion, scorching the comedian.

A friend who was nearby smothered the flames, TMZ reports.

Leno, an Andover, Massachusetts, native and Emerson College graduate, is known for his extravagant collection of cars. and was reportedly injured when gasoline erupted ignited at his Los Angeles garage.

On Wednesday Grossman told reporters that Leno suffered “significant burns” to hands, chest, and the left side of his face, while working on the car in his Burbank, California, garage.


“His injuries are serious, his condition is good,” Grossman said at a press conference, according to Fox News. The comedian has already undergone a “surgical excision and grafting procedure,” he said, which involved cleaning out the wounds on his hands, face, and chest and applying a “biological skin substitute over the wounds in order to expedite healing.” Once the skin substitute is eventually removed, doctors will decide what to do in additional operations, Rolling Stone reported.

“He did well with that surgery,” Grossman said. “He is in good spirits today.”

“He’s walking around and cracking jokes,” and handing out cookies to children on the burn ward, Grossman said. “He’s incredibly kind to our nursing staff. He’s very appreciative of everybody here and really an ideal patient.”

Jay Leno in his garage on Sept. 24, 2014, in Burbank, Calif.Matt McClain/The Washington Post

Leno has been seen on Aquidneck Island, which includes Newport, Middletown, and Portsmouth, since he purchased a home on Ocean Avenue in Newport in 2017. And in July he was pictured at Wally’s with a burger, fries, and its famous Saugy dog, a Rhode Island staple that has a characteristic “snap” to each bite. Saugy’s is a family-owned and operated business based in Cranston since 1869. Their recipe, they say, was brought over from Germany in the late 1800s.

News of a medical injury surfaced after the 72-year-old comic missed a performance in Las Vegas “due to a health issue” in Las Vegas on Sunday night, according to People magazine., a weekly magazine about celebrity news.


Leno was the host of “The Tonight Show” from 1992 to 2009, and can now be seen on his shoe show “Leno’s Garage,” Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EST on CNBC, and his game show “You Bet Your Life,” on Fox, with longtime friend Kevin Eubanks.

Carlos Muñoz can be reached at Follow him @ReadCarlos and on Instagram @Carlosbrknews.