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Newark Mayor Booker Briefly Hospitalized After Saving Neighbors From Fire

Tweets About Incident, Says He Suffered From Smoke Inhalation, Will Be OK
Newark Mayor Cory Booker (file / credit: Mayor's Office)

Newark Mayor Cory Booker (file / credit: Mayor’s Office)

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Updated at 1:36 a.m., April 13, 2012

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — He holds the title of Newark mayor, but on Thursday night Cory Booker may have also earned the honor of hero.

Booker was hospitalized for a few hours Thursday night after he and two members of his security detail attempted to rescue next-door neighbors trapped in a burning home in the Upper Clinton Hill neighborhood on Hawthorne Avenue, mayoral spokeswoman Anne Torres confirmed.

Booker, who had just returned home from a television appearance, and the members of his detail went into the home to offer assistance just before 8:30 p.m. Booker was later taken to a local hospital suffering from smoke inhalation. The mayor later told the Star-Ledger he suffered second-degree burns on his hand while trying to rescue one of the neighbors.

Newark officials said the mayor was released from the hospital around midnight.

The mayor confirmed the incident on his Twitter page, tweeting: “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 then posted a tweet early Friday morning that read: “Thanks everyone, my injuries were relatively minor. Thanks to Det. Alex Rodriguez who helped get all of the people out of the house.”

Newark Fire Director Fateen Ziyad told the newspaper that Booker had recounted to him how he heard a woman yelling “I’m back here,” from a back bedroom when the mayor rushed into the building but was held back by his security details. The mayor yelled at his security guards to release him, saying: “She is going to die, she is going to die,” Ziyad told the newspaper, adding the mayor crossed through smoke and flames to grab the woman and carry her in his arms out of the building.

Torres said the mayor was exhausted from the ordeal and would hold a press briefing on Friday morning.

Details on the cause of the fire were not immediately available.

In all, five people were taken to the hospital for treatment: the mayor, a woman from the house and three members of his security detail. The woman was listed in stable condition at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, the Star-Ledger reported.

Please check in with CBSNewYork.com early Friday morning for more on this developing story …

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below …

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)