Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark not afraid of lending his constituents a helping hand, can take a sigh of relief after he ran into a burning building and helped save his neighbor.
Late Thursday night, Booker was walking back to his home with two members of his security detail when he spotted a fire on the second floor of his neighbor's building.
"Something exploded and sent a lot of flames over the steps, and my detail just grabbed me and started trying to drag me out of there," Booker told CNN.
After convincing his security detail to let him go, he ran into the second floor kitchen. With smoke filling the room, he had trouble at first finding the trapped woman.
"I looked back behind me and saw the kitchen was becoming more of an inferno, and at that point I thought to myself, ‘This is it’,” said Booker.
But finally, he heard the woman cry for help from a bathroom. After some trouble reaching her, Booker was able to take her out of the bathroom, through the burning kitchen, and out onto the street to safety.
The Newark mayor said he suffered some second-degree burns in the blaze, before heading to the hospital for treatment. According to the New York Times, Booker was released from the hospital at 11:30 Thursday night.
"Thanks 2 all who are concerned. Just suffering smoke inhalation," the mayor tweeted later that night. "We got the woman out of the house. We are both off to hospital. I will b ok."
The woman saved by Booker was hospitalized and in stable condition. According to MSNBC.com, she suffered burns to her back and neck. Despite the mayor’s heroic actions, he has downplayed his role in the rescue.
“First of all, there are people who do this everyday,” Booker told reporters at a news conference Friday morning. “The police officers that I was with showed really quick action and got into the building really quick. There are firefighters that do this every single day. I’m a neighbor who would do what most neighbors would do, which is to jump into action to help a friend.”