Two New Jersey Firefighters Killed Battling Blaze on Cargo Ship

Officials are mourning the loss of two firefighters who died while battling a blaze on a cargo ship containing thousands of vehicles at a New Jersey port on Wednesday night.

Five other firefighters were hurt but expected to recover after the ordeal, which occurred around 9:30 p.m., the Associated Press (AP) reported Thursday.

When they arrived at the scene, firefighters located approximately seven cars that were on fire sitting on the 10th floor of the ship docked at Port Newark, the outlet continued:

The blaze quickly extended to the 11th and 12th floors, and as firefighters were pushed back by the intense heat, two of them were lost, Fire Chief Rufus Jackson said at a news conference.

Firefighters weren’t initially able to find their colleagues and outside rescue companies from around the state were called in. Augie Acabou, 45, and Wayne Brooks, 49, were found and removed from the structure, but unfortunately they lost their lives, Jackson said.

“I saw the best of our city last night. There are no words to describe the courage I saw. We just lost two of our best in the city of Newark, two of our bravest here in this city,” Newark Mayor Ras Baraka stated, according to

Aerial video footage shows smoke billowing from the ship and authorities still working the scene:

Three Newark firefighters and two Elizabeth firefighters were treated for injuries. The AP report noted they were all expected to recover.

In a social media post Thursday, the New York City Fire Department said it is mourning the tragic loss along with the Newark agency.

“Our hearts go out to the Newark Fire Department and the families of the two fallen Firefighters,” the department stated:

Chief Jackson noted his team has trained to fight fires on ships, but this ship was a different kind.

“Although this is a difficult fire, a different type of fire, they’re still willing to put themselves on the line for others,” the chief said.

During a press conference, Baraka said, “I saw the kind of acts of bravery and camaraderie today that’s unparalleled”:

“It’s very, very, very traumatic for all of us here in the city of Newark, and we ask everybody to pray. Pray for the city of Newark, pray for the firefighters here, pray for the families that have lost a loved one in this struggle,” he added.


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