The Maritime Trades Department sincerely extends its condolences to the families of Wayne Brooks and Augusto Acabou, two fire fighters lost in the line of duty putting out a massive blaze aboard a vessel in Port Newark, New Jersey. Brooks and Acabou were members of the International Association of Fire Fighters, an MTD affiliate.
The two-alarm fire began approximately at 9:30pm, July 5th on the 10th deck of the Grande Costa D’avorio, an Italian-flagged car carrier operated by Grimaldi Lines. It quickly spread to the vehicular cargo on board, engulfing decks 11 and 12. As of the publication of this story, the flames were still being contained and the cause of the incident still under investigation. The two fire fighters were lost as the first responders retreated from the rapidly-intensifying conflagration. Multiple other fire fighters battling the blaze also required medical treatment for their injuries.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued a statement noting that the incident “is a painful reminder of the dangers our fire fighters face and their remarkable courage.” IAFF President Edward A. Kelly expressed his sadness at the loss, adding that his “thoughts and prayers this morning are with the two fire fighters who made the ultimate sacrifice, their families, and all our brothers and sisters in Newark.”
The bravery and commitment displayed by our fallen brothers deserves our most solemn respect. We beseech our fellow Maritime trade unionists to honor the memory of these men and their sacrifices. The Maritime Trades Department also commends the actions of the U.S. Coast Guard and fire fighters from nearby jurisdictions still on the scene, including New York City, Paterson, Hoboken, Millburn, North Hudson, Hackensack, Jersey City, Bayonne, and Elizabeth.