HEAT ALERT

Excessive heat watch issued for New Jersey with sizzling temps in the 90s this week

An inspiration: Hundreds gather to mourn fallen Newark firefighter Wayne Brooks Jr.

Wayne Brooks Jr. was one of two firefighters killed on July 5 while battling a cargo ship fire at Port Newark.

Matt Trapani and Eliecer Marte

Jul 13, 2023, 8:47 PM

Updated 341 days ago

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Friends, family and colleagues gathered on Thursday to mourn a Newark firefighter who died battling a cargo ship fire at Port Newark last week.
Hundreds of people gathered at Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart to remember the life of 49-year-old Wayne Brooks Jr. – one of two firefighters killed on July 5.
Those who knew him said that Brooks was an inspiration – a man whose mission was to always serve his community as a 16-year veteran of Ladder 4.
“He always looked out for me and gave me pointers of what to expect going into the fire department,” said Jonathan Detres, a member of the Newark Firefighters Pipe Band.
Brooks was so committed to helping others that he didn't only take an exam for Newark Fire Department. He also took the test for the Newark Police Department - achieving top scores in both.
“He was a sweet person. Treated everyone like family,” said Leon White, of the Bell and Siren Club of Essex County.
Brooks also worked for United Airlines for nearly 30 years. Some of his former colleagues even flew in from out of state to pay their respects.
“Very respectful. He is going to be missed.  Family man. We have been friends for over 25 years,” says Jerome Moonsamay, a longtime friend of Brooks.
Loved ones say that Brooks loved to read and was a great cook. He was known to make special meals for members of the firehouse.
Brooks leaves behind a wife and two daughters. A funeral service will be held Friday morning.
Fellow firefighter Capt. Augusto Acabou was laid to rest on Thursday in a large service at the Cathedral Basilica.

Road closures in Newark

Drivers are advised to anticipate delays and to plan alternate routes.
Funeral arrangements for Brooks, Jr.:
Funeral – 10 a.m., Friday, July 14
Road closures for funerals:
Beginning from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Friday, July 14
All of the above locations including:
Extend Victoria Avenue between Garside Street to Stone Street
Cutler Street between Park Avenue and 7th Avenue
Stone Street between Park Avenue and 7th Avenue
Crane Street between Summer Avenue and Cutler Street


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