Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker says he was being “a good neighbor” in fire rescue

He’s being hailed a hero, but Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker says he was just doing the right thing when he rescued a woman from her home Thursday night.

A white bandage wrapped around his right hand, Mayor Booker recounted the story of how being a good neighbor almost cost him his life.

“I’m a neighbor that did what most neighbors would do which is to jump into action to help a friend and I consider all of us very lucky.There was a time when I got through the kitchen and was searching for her and looked back and saw the kitchen in flames, it was really a frightening experience for me. I didn’t think we were going to get out of there,” said Booker.

His security detail tried unsuccessfully to keep Booker from entering the building. He found Zina Hodge in a back room and carried her over his shoulder to safety. Hodge’s mother Jacqualine Williams is thankful for the mayor’s heroism.

“I think he’s a super mayor and he should stay mayor and then become president,” said Williams.

Williams says her daughter is grateful to be alive. She’s being treated for second degree burns to her back and neck.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal