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Jay Leno’s doctor speaks out after TV host was seriously burned in garage fire

Leno's face, hands and chest were covered with third-degree burns after a gasoline fire ignited in his Los Angeles-area garage on Nov. 12.
/ Source: TODAY

After Jay Leno was seriously injured in a garage fire, his doctor told NBC Los Angeles on Nov. 16 that he hopes the longtime television host will be released within the week.

In an interview with NBC News, Dr. Peter Grossman — the director of the Grossman Burn Center in West Hills Hospital — confirmed Leno had burns to "approximately 7% of his body."

He said the burns were "relatively serious" and involved the TV star's face, hands and chest. Grossman said it's "too early to tell whether there’s going to be any permanent damage" to the star's face.

The doctor added that they added temporary skin grafts from "human cadaver skin" to Leno's body, which is a standard procedure. He said he plans to go back to the operating room in "a few days" with a more permanent solution.

"Remove that and then we'll assess what he needs from there and hopefully definitely get his wounds to close," he said.

Grossman added that "in general, burns are probably the most painful type" of injury but Leno seems to have a "very high pain threshold."

"He’s also very stoic individual and he’s just not one who wants to complain," Grossman said, adding that Leno has been "very gracious, he’s very friendly."

"He’s very appreciative," Grossman said. "He’s got a very positive attitude. He’s humbled by the amount of outpouring of affection, and perhaps even a little embarrassed of the attention that he’s getting for it. He just wants to be a regular guy and get back to work."

Grossman concluded that he doesn't want to "speak too early," but is optimistic that Leno will have a "very positive outcome."

A source close to the comedian told NBC News on Nov. 15 the burns were on the left side of Leno's face.

The source said the fire broke out while Leno — an avid car collector and host of "Jay Leno’s Garage" — was working on his 1907 White Steam Car at his garage in Burbank, California. Leno was fixing a clogged fuel line, the source said, when fuel leaked and gasoline sprayed on his face. Then a spark started the fire, the source said.

Leno confirmed the incident in a statement on Nov. 14.

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

On Nov. 16, Grossman said he wasn't sure how long Leno would need to remain hospitalized but he hoped to release him quickly.

"It’s a little bit too soon to talk about when he’s going to be released," he said, adding that burns can be unpredictable. "I’m hoping that it would be within a week but again, I don’t know for sure."

The source close to Leno told NBC News that all of Leno's scheduled events for the next two weeks have been canceled.