Rescued woman says she owes life to NJ mayor

Newark Mayor Cory Booker's right hand is bandaged as he stands in his driveway between a boarded-up 433 Hawthorne Avenue and next his home, left, in Newark, N.J., Friday, April 13, 2012 as he talks about rescuing a neighbor Thursday from fire at the home. Booker said Friday he feared for his life as he helped rescue a neighbor from a fire before firefighters arrived. He described how he returned home Thursday night and saw his neighbor's home engulfed in flames. The woman Booker helped save is in stable condition. AP Photo/Mel Evans

(AP) NEWARK, N.J. - The woman pulled from her burning home by Mayor Cory Booker says she would be dead if he hadn't come to her rescue, but that she was in such a fog at the time she doesn't remember him lifting her out of bed.

Zina Hodge told Fox TV station My9  from her hospital room that she was gasping for air and delusional when Booker grabbed her and carried her to safety last Thursday.

"I didn't even see him. I don't even remember him picking me up. But I heard him -- calling me," she told the station.

But she knows she owes her life to him, she said.

"I'm blessed, man. You know what I mean," she told the station. "If Cory wouldn't have come in there and rescued me I would have died in there."

Hodge, 47, was recovering Tuesday at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston. In a brief interview with The Associated Press, she said she wasn't certain when she would be released.

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.

Once they were outside her house, which is next door to Booker's home, the mayor's main concern was getting her into an ambulance, Hodge said.

Booker was also taken to a hospital for treatment.

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

Members of Booker's security detail got several other members of Hodge's family out of the house before the mayor arrived home. They tried to hold Booker back, fearing for his safety, but he insisted he go inside because he believed the trapped woman's life was in danger.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker: Race into home fire was a "come to Jesus moment"
Newark Mayor Cory Booker rescues neighbor from New Jersey fire, reportedly burns hand

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