Jay Leno reveals his friend "jumped on top of him" to smother the fire during his horror accident last month.

The 72-year-old comedian sustained major burns which left him needing skin graft surgery after one of his vehicles burst into flames when a fuel leak ignited while he was working in his garage.

In his first sit-down TV interview since the incident, he told the 'Today' show: "It was a 1907 White Steam Car.

"The fuel line was clogged so I was underneath it. It sounded clogged and I said, 'Blow some air through the line,' and so he did... Suddenly, boom, I got a face full of gas.

"And then the pilot light jumped and my face caught on fire. And I said to my friend, I said, 'Dave, I’m on fire.' And Dave’s like, 'All right.'

"I said, 'No, Dave, I’m on fire.' And then, 'Oh my god.' Dave, my friend, pulled me out and jumped on top of me and kind of smothered the fire."

Meanwhile, the former 'Tonight Show' host has admitted he accepted the possibility of an accident was always a risk because of his love of tinkering with old cars.

He wrote for the Wall Street Journal: "Eight days later, I had a brand new face. And it’s better than what was there before.

"But really, it was an accident, that’s all. Anybody who works with their hands on a regular basis is going to have an accident at some point. If you play football, you get a concussion or a broken leg. Anything you do, there’s a risk factor."

And Jay insisted he was always going to poke fun at himself over the painful incident because he didn't want to be a "whiny celebrity".

He added: "You have to joke about it. There’s nothing worse than whiny celebrities. If you joke about it, people laugh along with you."