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‘The very best amongst us.’ Thousands gather for funeral of fallen firefighter Augusto Acabou

Augusto Acabou died July 5 fighting a fire at Port Newark. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of captain at his funeral.

News 12 Staff

Jul 13, 2023, 10:07 AM

Updated 342 days ago

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Thousands of people gathered on Thursday for a final farewell to Augusto Acabou – one of two firefighters killed in the Port Newark cargo ship fire.
Acabou was affectionately known as “Augie” to those who knew him. More than one person who spoke at the funeral said that once you became his friend, you were part of his family.
The nearly 400 members of the Newark Fire Department lined the walkway leading to the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark. All stood at attention as a truck draped in mourning bunting brought Acabou’s casket before his friends and colleagues.
Once inside, the bagpipers set the stage for the funeral Mass.
One of the first to speak was Acabou's East Side High School football coach. Kevin Bullock reminisced on how Acabou was by his side as his former coach battled cancer.
“He called me probably every day, ‘Coach, are you OK? Coach, you need this?’ And with cancer you get depressed, but Augie was always there making me laugh,” said Bullock.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka also spoke. The mayor watched the city’s firefighters battle the fire at the port on July 5. He noted that Acabou – who was born and raised in Newark’s Ironbound section – was more than a hero.
“This man we lay to rest is one of the very best amongst us,” Baraka said.
Acabou’s close friend and fellow firefighter Eddie Pollack also spoke.
"Augie, my brother, I love you man. I'm going to miss you tremendously,” Pollack said. “We will take it from here. We're going to get through this together."

Hundreds gather to mourn firefighter Wayne Brooks, Jr. who died at Port Newark fire

Acabou was posthumously promoted to the rank of captain. City officials presented his family with an American flag and a bell rang four times in his honor.
The casket was taken outside and loaded back onto a firetruck and was then driven through the streets of Newark.
Acabou leaves behind his fiance Cynthia, his parents and his brothers.
A wake for firefighter Wayne Brooks Jr. was also held at the cathedral Thursday afternoon. His funeral will take place on Friday.

Road closures in Newark

Drivers are advised to anticipate delays and to plan alternate routes.
Funeral arrangements for Brooks, Jr.:
Viewing – 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday, July 13
Funeral – 10 a.m., Friday, July 14
Road closures for viewings:
Beginning from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. – Thursday, July 13
Clifton Avenue between Park Avenue and 7th Avenue
Mt. Prospect Avenue between Park Avenue and 7th Avenue
Victoria Avenue between Garside Street and Ridge Street
Ridge Street between Victoria Street and Park Avenue
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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