Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, New Jersey, claims he had a "come to Jesus" moment on Thursday night after he arrived home to discover a neighbor's residence on fire.


After a moment of arguing with his security team, he charged into the blaze, which he said had fully engulfed the house, in search of the last person remaining inside. Speaking to CBS This Morning on Friday, he explained that after finding the woman, he threw her over his shoulder and "punched through the kitchen" to escape.

"I couldn't see anything but the flames coming out of the kitchen," he said. "I really had this moment where I thought, 'I think I'm trapped. I think we can't get out.'"

At that point, the mayor claims he "punched through the kitchen," sustaining burns on his left hand, then escaped to safety. The woman, who has not been named, reportedly sustained second-degree burns on her back and neck.

"Today, I have this incredible feeling," he said. "Yesterday, all my problems were really big to me. Today, things feel a lot more clear and I have a lot more respect for firefighters."

This video was broadcast by CBS on Friday, April 13, 2012.