Port Newark cargo ship fire now contained

ByMarcus Solis and Eyewitness News WABC logo
Sunday, July 9, 2023
Fire contained on cargo ship at Port Newark
EMBED <>More Videos

Officials say a fire has been contained on the cargo ship and the injured firefighters are out of the hospital.

PORT NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Fire crews on Saturday made progress on flames that have smoldered inside a cargo ship docked at Port Newark, days after the blaze claimed the lives of two New Jersey firefighters and injured five others.

Marine firefighting specialists made considerable progress after "actively conducting fire suppression both pier-side and on the water," the Coast Guard said in a statement.

"As of Saturday afternoon, the fire is contained on the 11th deck and is being suppressed and no longer spreading to other areas of the vessel," the statement said.

The fire started Wednesday night iaboard the Grande Costa d'Avorio, an Italian-flagged vessel carrying thousands of vehicles and other goods, on the 10th deck. Upon arrival, firefighters located the fire, which broke out in five to seven cars and spread to the 11th and 12th floors of the ship.

About an hour later, a mayday call was issued after a firefighter became trapped inside, and a second mayday call was issued for another firefighter.

Augusto "Augie" Acabou, a firefighter for more than nine years, was rescued from the ship before midnight and was later taken to a hospital, where he died Thursday morning.

Wayne "Bear" Brooks Jr. a firefighter for more than 16 years, died early Thursday morning after he was recovered.

Left: Wayne Brooks, Jr. and right: Augusto Acabou

Funerals for Acabou, who was assigned to Engine 16, and Brooks, who was assigned to Ladder 4, have been scheduled for next week.

Officials said five other firefighters were injured, one suffering "steam burns from water accumulated on the cargo ship's floor" and the other four - two from Newark and two from neighboring Elizabeth - experiencing such things as heat exhaustion, smoke inhalation and respiratory distress. Public safety officials said all three Newark fire captains were released from the hospital and the burn victim was in stable condition and completing his recovery at home.

The vessel is stable, but they'd like to keep it even by pumping out water to reduce the list. Officials say there is no sheening in the water and Air Quality is also being monitored.

The cause will not be known until the fire is out.

This ship generally operates between the U.S. and West Africa. It carries more than 1,200 new and used vehicles and 157 containers. No electric cars or hazardous cargo were on the ship.

Other ships are staying at anchor, waiting to move the cargo, mostly other car carriers, officials said.

They noted that 99.5% of container activity was not impacted.


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* More New Jersey news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.

The fire after they became trapped while fighting a fire on

The fire broke out in five to seven cars on the 11th and 12th floors of a ship that was carrying about 5,000 vehicles.