Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker Is Being Hailed As A National Hero

Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker Is Being Hailed As A National Hero

Mayor Cory Booker, of Newark, New Jersey, is being hailed a national hero Friday after rescuing his neighbors from a burning building.

"I couldn't breathe, couldn't find my way out, so that was the point, when I was thinking, ‘This was it,'" Booker told INSIDE EDITION's Les Trent.  

Booker is a rising star in the Democratic Party; some say he's a future presidential contender. He's also close pals with Oprah, and attended the taping of her last talk show.

Now the whole country is calling him "Super Mayor."

"This guy is being so humble, he actually punched his fist through a kitchen wall, grabbed this woman, threw her over his shoulder and ran through flames," said a journalist on Fox News.

Booker suffered second degree burns to his hand and smoke inhalation during the daring rescue. The drama began when he arrived home Thursday night and saw his next door neighbor's house on fire.

The Mayor and his security detail ran straight into the flaming house when he heard a woman screaming for help.

Booker told Trent, "It was just full of black smoke. Every time I tried to breathe I felt the heat and the particles go into my chest."

When his bodyguards realized just how dangerous the situation was they tried to remove the Mayor, but he refused.

Appearing on CBS This Morning with his bodyguard, Det. Alex Rodriguez, Booker said he really didn't think he was going to make it out alive.

Rodriguez said, "I told him, 'I can't let you in,' and he basically told me 'This woman is going to die.' And what am I going to say to that?"

"I saw the kitchen with flames all over the ceiling, and I had very clear thoughts that I am not going to get out of this place alive," said Booker.

He made it into the bedroom where he found the woman disoriented.

Booker also said on CBS This Morning, "I was not gentle, and just sort of threw her over my shoulder, and dragged her through the kitchen."

Not only did Mayor Booker run into the burning building, he also carried the woman out through smoke and flames.

Booker told Trent, "We both collapsed in the street. I have never been so happy to touch Newark pavement."

This isn't the first time "Super Mayor" has come to the rescue. During the big snow storm of 2010, he was pushing cars that were stuck in the snow.

Trent asked, "People already considered you a super-star Mayor, now you are a hero as well, how do you live up to that?"

Booker said, "I don't want the facts to be overstated. The reality is, is most of us, I really have faith in our country, most of us, under the same sort of circumstances, would have done the same thing."