Jay Leno has third degree burns to his face and may need skin grafts after a garage fire where one of his cars erupted in flames, a source close to the comedian told NBC News on Tuesday.
According to the source, the former “Tonight Show” host was fixing a clogged fuel line on a vintage car on Saturday at his garage in Burbank, California. There was a fuel leak and gasoline sprayed on his face before a spark triggered the fire.
Leno was burned on the left side of his face and his hands, said the source, who saw him on Saturday after the incident.
Leno was taken by ambulance first to a hospital in Burbank, then sent to the Grossman Burn Center in Los Angeles where he remains. He’s receiving hyperbaric treatment, an oxygen therapy that “can accelerate burn wound healing,” according to the Grossman Burn Center’s website.
“Jay is just going through the normal procedures. They put him into the hyperbaric. It’s just a matter of time,” the source said, adding that the hyperbaric treatment is “something he has to do all the time.”
The 72-year-old comedian was meant to be in St. Louis and Denver this weekend, but all his events for the next two weeks have been canceled to prioritize his healing.
“I don’t think he will be performing for at least two weeks,” the source said, adding that it could be even longer. “We’re canceling pretty much all events for him.”
While doctors say that Leno might not be leaving the burn center soon, the source is hopeful and doesn’t believe he’ll stay there through Thanksgiving.
“Jay is the kind of guy that is that likes to get up and go but they need to treat him,” the source said. “In other words, some people that have burns in the body, they can’t move. But Jay physically, below his chin or below his shoulders, he’s fine. I don’t think he’ll want to be laying there for that long.”