Fire rescue may not be a part of Newark Mayor Cory Bookerâs âofficialâ 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.
âThere was a time when I didnât think weâd make it out of there,â he said at a news conference outside his house Friday morning. âI didnât feel bravery; I felt terror.â
The mayorâs 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 Bookerâs detail tried to restrain him from entering the house, but the mayor responded, âIf I donât go in, the ladyâs going to die.â
After the Thursday night rescue, Booker tweeted: âThanks 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.â
Booker said he had a conversation with God that heâs never had before. “I want to kiss and hug a lot of people today,â he said.
The woman is in stable condition with burns on her neck and back. The cause of the fire is not yet known.