Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Macy's
Newark Mayor Cory Booker was released from the hospital late Thursday night after he rushed into a neighbor’s burning home earlier in the day to help rescue a woman inside.
The Associated Press reports that the daring rescue occurred after Booker returned home for the day only to find the house next door on fire. Newark Fire Director Fateen Ziyad said two of Booker's security guards tried to hold the mayor back for his own protection, but he forced them to release him when he heard a woman yelling from the back of the house. The guards then followed Booker into the building.
"He ran in—without thinking for his own safety—ran upstairs and assisted in rescuing the young lady," said Det. Alex Rodriguez, who witnessed the incident, CNN reports. "He burned his hand trying to pull the lady out."
Speaking to CBS on Friday morning, Booker described the decision to run into the house as a "come to Jesus moment":
"I actually wasn't thinking. When I got there and couldn't find her in all the smoke, looked behind me and saw the kitchen really erupting with flames all over the ceiling, that's when I had very clear thoughts that I'm not going to get out of this place alive and got ... very religious.
"It is a very, very scary thing. And I'd like to say that I, at that point I was feeling so courageous, but honestly, it was terrifying, and to look back, you can see nothing but flames. Look in front of you see nothing but blackness.
Both the mayor and woman were taken to the hospital. Booker was released late after being treated for second-degree burns and smoke inhalation. The woman is in stable condition and is being treated for burns to her back and neck.