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2 New Jersey firefighters killed battling blaze on cargo ship

The firefighters were identified as Augusto Acabou, 45, and Wayne Brooks Jr., 49.
Smoke billows from cargo ship.
Posted at 1:51 PM, Jul 06, 2023

The New Jersey firefighting community is mourning the loss of two of their own. 

The two Newark firefighters were among the first to respond to a fire on a cargo ship Wednesday night. 

Newark Fire Chief Rufus Jackson said the firefighters were attempting to extinguish the fire, which started on the 10th floor of the cargo ship.

"Because of the intense heat, they got pushed back out," Jackson said. 

The fire continued to grow, reaching the 12th floor. That stalled efforts to reach the firefighters. 

"Specialized rescue companies came to this location and they assisted us with primary and secondary searches," Jackson said. 

Firefighters look into crumbling well.

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The boy was taken to a hospital for evaluation and is expected to be OK.


He added that the firefighters had succumbed to the fire when they were located. 

The firefighters were later identified as Augusto Acabou, 45, and Wayne Brooks Jr., 49.

The governor of New Jersey was briefed on the situation and paid tribute to the firefighters. 

"This tragedy is a painful reminder of the dangers our firefighters face and their remarkable courage," Gov. Phil Murphy said. 

According to WABC-TV in New York, the ship that caught fire travels between the U.S. and West Africa, carrying new and used vehicles. 

The Grimaldi Group, which operates the ship, said in a statement that it will work with local authorities to investigate the cause of the fire.