Fire departments, officials mourn 2 Newark firefighters killed battling cargo ship fire

Fire departments from throughout the region offered condolences to the two firefighters who died battling a fire on the cargo ship fire at Port Newark.

Lanette Espy

Jul 6, 2023, 3:50 PM

Updated 345 days ago

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Two firefighters, Wayne Brooks Jr. and Augusto Acabou, died following a cargo ship fire in Port Newark. Several other firefighters were injured, according to officials.
The fire started around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday in one of the cargo ships docked on the port.
Thousands of cars are on the ship and Newark fire chief Rufus Jackson says five or seven of those cars caught fire. The two firefighters made an attempt to extinguish the fire. He says because of the intense heat, the firefighters got pushed back out of the area where the initial fire was.
Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement that this tragedy is a painful reminder of the dangers firefighters face.
Edward Kelly, general president of the International Association of Firefighters, wrote on Twitter, "Please say a prayer for the safety of the Newark, NJ firefighters battling a difficult ship fire tonight in the Port of Newark."
Sen. Bob Menendez says the incident is "absolutely heartbreaking" and "their heroic actions will always be remembered."
Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. said in a statement, "Essex County mourns the deaths of Newark Firefighters Augie Acabou and Wayne Brooks, who lost their lives fighting the cargo ship fire in Port Newark. We will remember these brave and courageous men for their dedication to duty."
The fire was still active as of Thursday morning and firefighters were still inside the ship trying to put the blaze out, according to Newark Mayor Ras Baraka.
VIDEO: Below is Chopper 12 video over the cargo ship fire in Port Newark
The Township of Cranford tweeted, "We remember & thank all firefighters bravely still working the scene of this fire."
Mike Giunta, president of the Newark Firefighters Union, said in a statement, “It is with profound sadness that the Newark Firefighters Union announces the tragic loss of two firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice while battling a devastating fire last night in the Port of Newark,”
“We mourn the loss of our brothers Augusto (Augie) Acabou and Wayne (Bear) Brooks Jr., who bravely dedicated their lives to keeping the people of Newark safe," Giunta said.
Fire departments from throughout the region offered condolences.
The New York City Fire Department wrote they are mourning with the Newark Fire Department after the loss of two firefighters who were killed while bravely fighting a fire in the Port of Newark early this morning. Our hearts go out to the Newark Fire Department and the families of the two fallen Firefighters.
Paterson Police Department wrote, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Newark Fire Department and the families of the heroes that made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty."
City of Hoboken Fire Department called the news "devastating" and wrote "Our hearts are breaking and go out to their families, including their FF brothers/sisters."
Perth Amboy Fire Officer’s say they are praying for a speedy recovery for the other injured firefighters as well.
They also wrote, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to our brothers and sisters in Newark and to the families of the two fallen firefighters."


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