Things have started to calm down for Newark Mayor Cory Booker after his daring and heroic rescue last week of a neighbor from a burning building erupted a media frenzy that included several television appearances, hundreds of tweets and banner headlines in publications across the country.
The flurry of activity started last Thursday evening as Booker was returning home after an appearance on a local television show and noticed flames and thick black smoke raging from his neighbor’s home. Booker and members of his security detail entered the home and helped a woman escape the fire-ravaged home.
Booker suffered second-degree burns and smoke inhalation. The victim, 47-year-old Xena Hodge, suffered various burns and smokes inhalation and is recuperating at St. Barnabas Medical Center.
Hodge credits Booker with saving her life and called him a hero–an accolade that Booker dismissed at a press conference on Friday afternoon. “I’m a neighbor that did what most neighbors would do, which is to jump into action to help a friend,” he said.
On Saturday, Booker returned to his hectic schedule with various appearances at community events across the city, including an event in New York City.
Still, others applauded the mayor’s heroics, something that is not new to followers of his career as head of the Brick City. For example, Booker made national news a few years ago when he helped chase down a thief who had just robbed a bank near City Hall.
Thousands of bloggers and tweeters lauded Booker. One wrote, “He is a good man. Rather than making it political, take notes on being a good person–most people would run the other way. Congratulations, mayor.”
Others acknowledged the superhero antics of Booker as an opportunity to poke fun at rotund New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. One wrote, “I’d love to see our governor run into a burning building and save someone!” Another responded, “I’d love to see our governor run!”