Jay Leno in 'good spirits' after fiery car incident

Late-night television show host suffered second-degree burns while working on a vintage car

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Jay Leno underwent surgery for serious burns suffered when flames erupted as he worked on a vintage car and he remains in hospital for further treatment, the physician overseeing his care has said.

The former Tonight Show host was in good condition and his wife, Mavis, is with him at the Grossman Burn Centre north of Los Angeles, said Peter Grossman, medical director of the centre at West Hills Hospital.

“He is in good spirits today,” Dr Grossman told a televised news conference on Wednesday.

Last weekend, Leno suffered burns to his face, hands and chest that the plastic surgeon categorised as second degree or verging on more severe.

Some of the facial wounds “are a little bit deeper and a little more concerning” because they are showing signs of progressing to third degree, as can happen with burns, Dr Grossman said.

Leno came through one surgery well and a second is planned this week, he added.

The comedian is up and walking, telling jokes and is a hit with the staff, even giving out cookies to young patients.

The fire occurred at the Burbank garage where Leno stores his famed collection of cars and other motor vehicles.

In a statement earlier this week, Leno referred to the burns as “serious” but said he would need only “a week or two to get back on my feet”.

Dr Grossman said he appreciated Leno’s eagerness but has cautioned him to be realistic.

“I had to tell him that he needs to step back a little bit and just realise that some of this takes time,” he said.

“He’s very compliant, he understands that. I think he’s realising that he does need to perhaps take it a little slower than he initially anticipated.”

The doctor said he expects Leno to make a full recovery but that it was too early to know if there would be “remnants” of the injury. He did not elaborate.

Updated: November 17, 2022, 6:32 PM