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Rescued woman says she owes life to Booker

April 17, 2012 2:23:26 PM PDT
The woman saved from her burning home tells Eyewitness News she would have died if not for Newark Mayor Cory Booker's heroic actions.

It was an amazing story of heroism last Friday. Newark Mayor Cory Booker saved his neighbor's life by running into her burning apartment, and then carrying her out on his back.

From her hospital bed at St. Barnabas medical center, 47-year-old Zina Hodge told us on the phone that she is recovering and feeling better day by day.

"Yes, I am. Yes, I am getting better," she said.

She may be just a bit overwhelmed by all the attention.

"It's just hilarious," Hodge said.

Her spirits are pretty good considering the 2nd-degree burns she suffered on her back from the falling embers.

Mayor Booker told us on Friday that as he ran through the flames with her; he definitely had that "come to Jesus moment..."

"I could not breathe. I could not get air," Booker said.

"I would have died probably (if Booker had not been there," Hodge said.

Was she terrified? You bet, but she can't remember too much more.

"I didn't even know he pulled me out," she said.

The 47-year-old woman is recovering at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston from burns to her legs and back.

The mayor suffered smoke inhalation and burned his right hand when, against the wishes of his security detail, he rushed up the stairway of his neighbor's burning house to rescue Hodge.

Booker's office confirmed Tuesday that the mayor had visited Hodge in the hospital but declined further comment.

He planned to go take a nap after the news conference.

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