Newark Mayor Cory Booker ran into a burning home to save his neighbor from a fire Thursday night. He was taken to the hospital for second degree burns and smoke inhalation.
Booker, 42, described the harrowing tale on CBS' 'This Morning' Friday. He said he could see nothing but fire and darkness when he entered the home, but could hear the woman's cries for help.
Newark Police Detective Alex Rodriguez attempted to stop Booker from entering the house, but Booker refused, saying the woman would die in the flames if they didn't help her.
He basically told me, 'This woman is going to die if we don't help her,' and what can I say to that? Rodriguez said, rehashing the conversation between the two on CBS 'This Morning'. I let him go and without thinking twice, he just ran into the flames and rescued this young lady.
Booker thought he wouldn't make it out alive after he jumped through the kitchen on the second floor and saw the kitchen really erupting with flames all over the ceiling. He said he got very religious at that moment and had a come to Jesus moment.
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.
Thankfully she started yelling out to me and I was able to find her through all the smoke. At that point I grabbed her, he said in the interview with CBS.
Booker picked the woman up from the bed and threw her over her shoulder. The only way out was through the burning kitchen.
Booker said he punched through the kitchen and the flames and saw Rodriguez, who helped Booker carry the woman out of the building. The three collapsed outside the house.
The woman suffered second-degree burns on her back.
I feel very blessed, Booker said in an interview with CBS' 'This Morning'. As the fire director told us, anything could have happened. Those things ignite so quickly, [and he's] very lucky to have gotten out there.
Yesterday, all my problems were really big to me. Today things feel a lot more clear, Booker said. And I have a lot more respect for firefighters!
As my chief staff and others were teasing me, I'm ill-equipped to do firefighter union negotiations - 'These guys give them everything!'
View video of Cory Booker's interview with CBS 'This Morning' here.