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Fire rescue may not be a part of Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s “official” responsibilities, but when he heard his next-door neighbor scream for help as her house became engulfed in flames, he knew he had to act.
Booker rescued a young woman from her burning house in the Upper Clinton neighborhood late Thursday night, carrying her through the flames. He suffered smoke inhalation in the process.
“There was a time when I didn’t think we’d make it out of there,” he said at a news conference outside his house Friday morning. “I didn’t feel bravery; I felt terror.”
The mayor’s security detail discovered the fire and began banging on the door to alert residents to leave. The Fire Department had not yet arrived.
A member of Booker’s detail tried to restrain him from entering the house, but the mayor responded, “If I don’t go in, the lady’s going to die.”
After the Thursday night rescue, Booker tweeted: “Thanks 2 all who are concerned. Just suffering smoke inhalation. We got the woman out of the house. We are both off to hospital. I will b ok.”
Booker said he had a conversation with God that he’s never had before. “I want to kiss and hug a lot of people today,” he said.
The woman is in stable condition with burns on her neck and back. The cause of the fire is not yet known.