Newark mayor hailed as hero for house fire rescue

NEWARK, N.J. - The mayor of Newark, N.J., Cory Booker, is recovering today from second-degree burns he suffered while rescuing his next-door neighbor from a fire.

Detective Alex Rodriguez, who was assigned to Booker's security detail, says he was outside the mayor's house last night waiting for his return when he spotted the flames on the second floor of a neighbor's home.

Rodriguez says when Booker pulled up and saw the flames, he and members of his security team ran into the burning building. The mayor scaled the narrow staircase leading to the second floor and helped carry out a woman who became stranded by the flames and smoke.

Booker suffered second-degree burns to his hand and smoke inhalation. The woman he helped rescue was treated for burns to her back. Firefighters say Booker's actions likely saved the victim's life.

The residents of the two apartments affected by the fire are believed to be members of the same family. They all made it out alive.

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