Officials: Efforts to extinguish Port Newark fire could take several more days

Crews were out all day Friday dousing the boat with water. But they are also de-watering the ship because they want to avoid it listing over.

Matt Trapani and Amanda Lee

Jul 8, 2023, 2:23 AM

Updated 344 days ago

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Fire crews are still working to extinguish a fire aboard a cargo ship at Port Newark that claimed the lives of two firefighters Wednesday evening.
Officials say that they expect it to take crews several more days to fully put out the fire aboard the Grande Costa D’Avorio.
Crews were out all day Friday dousing the boat with water. But they are also de-watering the ship because they want to avoid it listing over.
“Our focus is on suppressing and overhauling the fire onboard,” says U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Zeita Merchant.
Officials say that there are still about 5,000 vehicles on the ship. The Coast Guard says that they are working to contain the fire by cooling the vessel.
“At this point, this fire’s going to burn for a couple more days, probably. It’s impossible to give you really any kind of definitive timeline,” says Tom Wiker, of Gallagher Marine Systems.
Officials say that a team battling the fire consists of the Coast Guard, Port Authority, Newark Fire Department and Gallagher Marine Systems.
VIDEO: Below is Chopper 12 video over the cargo ship fire in Port Newark
“Salvage, and specifically shipboard firefighting, is an extremely complex operation and requires responders to consider long-term firefighting efforts, damage…and environmental impacts, which is why we have bought some of the world’s top salvers and marine firefighter experts here,” says Merchant.
Port Newark is the largest port on the East Coast and the second largest port in the nation, so officials say that carriers have also been impacted.
“Moving the containers is vitally important to us because we are dependent on 95% of the goods that are contained in those containers,” says Port Authority Port Director Bethann Rooney.
Officials say that their top priority is getting the fire under control and keeping crews safe.
Firefighters Augusto Acabou and Wayne Brook, Jr. were killed fighting the fire. Five other firefighters were hurt.


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