Jay Leno Describes His Fiery Accident In His Own Words

Younger generations might not know that comedian Jay Leno was a longtime staple of late-night talk shows. He hosted "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" starting in 1992, taking over from his predecessor Johnny Carson. Instead of Conan O'Brien taking over the role from Leno, some late-night drama ended with Conan starting his own show and Jimmy Fallon taking over for Leno following his departure in 2014. As he stepped away, Leno held the record for hosting the most episodes of the long-running NBC TV series, per TV Insider

While he clearly loves entertaining, Leno is also well-known for his love of cars. He's the host of "Jay Leno's Garage," a reality series where he often spends time talking with celebrities, and even the POTUS, about automobiles. Leno even started his own line of branded automotive care products, fittingly called Jay Leno's Garage. While the name has a nice ring to it when it comes to cars, the comedian really has an impressive personal garage. Leno has well over 300 vehicles in his collection, a combination of classic vehicles, new age super cars, motorcycles, and more, worth an estimated $50 million, per Jerry

It appeared Leno was living out a motorhead's dream, until a scary incident nearly killed the former late night host. One of the vehicles in his garage burst into flames, taking the term hot rod far too literally, and put Leno in the hospital. This is how the comedian remembers his frightening day.

How one spark changed everything for Jay Leno

Following the garage accident, Jay Leno revealed, "I got some serious burns from a gasoline fire. I am okay. Just need a week or two to get back on my feet," per TMZ. After 10 days in the hospital, doctors predicted a full recovery for the comedian and as predicted by Leno, he was back at his garage just one day after being discharged, per Page Six.

A few weeks earlier, Leno was working on one of his classic steam cars. He previously showed on "Jay Leno's Garage" how these old vehicles require an open flame to power the engine. In his garage, Leno asked his friend Dave to add some pressure to the drive system "and then all of a sudden, I just get a face full of gas," Leno detailed on "The Adam Carolla Show." He then remembered seeing flames, and thinking, "'Oh boy.' I went 'Dave, I'm on fire.'" His friend thought the comedian was joking at first but soon realized Leno was in trouble. Dave pulled out Leno, jumped on him, and used a fire extinguisher. "By that time my face is pretty burnt," Leno revealed. While reluctant to seek medical attention at first, Leno finally drove himself to the Grossman Burn Center. Amazingly, he asked the staff if he could go back home first to tell his wife about the accident. Leno spent the night at home and then in the morning, he returned to the specialists.