The mayor of Newark, NJ, Cory Booker, was treated for smoke inhalation and second-degree burns after he ran through smoke and flames to rescue a woman trapped in a burning house. He arrived home Thursday night to find the house next door on fire.
The New York Times reports that spokeswoman Anne Torres, said the Fire Department had not yet arrived, and the mayor went into the two-story house in Hawthorne Avenue in the Upper Clinton Hill neighborhood with his security detail to rescue the residents.
According to The Washington Post, Newark Fire Director Fateen Ziyad, told the local paper, The Star-Ledger, that the mayor told him a woman was heard yelling in a back bedroom "I'm here." The mayor went to her rescue. But his security detail held him back. The mayor resisted, yelling at them to let him go. He shouted: “She is going to die, she is going to die."
The heroic mayor passed through smoke and flames, found the woman and carried her in his arms out of the building.
NJ.com reports persons taken to the hospital for treatment included the woman, Booker and his security guards, after they were administered oxygen.
The Washington Post reports the woman is in a stable condition at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston, with neck and back burns. The mayor was also treated at the hospital for smoke inhalation and second-degree burns.
NJ.com reports after his release from hospital, Booker narrated the incident, saying he thought he would have to jump out of the window at a point when he was surrounded by flames. He said: "We got everybody out of the house, but their daughter’s screaming, ‘I’m upstairs!" His security guard Detective Alex Rodriguez, tried to stop him. Booker said: "Now we actually get into a fight because his job is to protect me."
When Booker reached the second floor he was engulfed in smoke and flames. He said: "I suddenly had the realization that I can’t find this woman. I looked behind me and saw the flames and I thought 'I’m not going to get out of here.' Suddenly I was at peace with the fact that I was going to jump out the window."
Then he heard the woman crying in the bedroom. Booker said: "I just grabbed her and whipped her out of the bed."
Booker tweeted late Thursday he was fine and thanked his fans for support. He 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.”
He also tweeted early on Friday: “Thanks everyone, my injuries were relatively minor. Thanks to Det. Alex Rodriguez who helped get all of the people out of the house.”