Newark Mayor Cory Booker didn’t think he was going to make it out alive after he rushed into a burning house Thursday night to save his neighbor who was trapped inside.
“When I got there, I couldn’t find her in all the smoke, [and] I looked behind me and saw the kitchen really erupting in flames…that’s when I had very clear thoughts that I’m not going to get out of this place alive,” Booker told CBS This Morning on Friday.
He also added that he got “very religious” when he jumped through the kitchen, which was all in flames, and that’s when he had a “come to Jesus moment.”
The hero mayor came upon the scene Thursday night and heard a woman screaming that her daughter was still inside the house.
Booker’s security detail initially put the brakes on the rescue attempt and tried to drag him away from the house, but they relented after he told them that “this woman is going to die if we don’t help her,” detective Alex Rodriguez said on CBS.
Once inside the burning house, Booker had difficulty locating the woman through the flames and black smoke, but he finally heard her calling out for help and was able to grab her.
“I punched through the kitchen and the flames and that’s when I saw Detective Rodriguez,” Booker said.
They all made it outside to safety and both “collapsed outside.”
Booker said he suffered second-degree burns and smoke inhalation. His thumb and right finger were bandaged.
The woman suffered second-degree burns on her back and was “disoriented” after the incident.
The mayor of New Jersey’s largest city sent out a tweet after the incident, saying: “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.”