🔥 Several cars caught fire on a cargo ship carrying 5,000 vehicles

🔥 Two responding Newark firefighters sent a mayday call

🔥 "Unfortunately, we lost two members today," said Fire Chief Rufus Jackson

NEWARK – Two Newark firefighters battling a fire on board a cargo ship died in the line of duty Wednesday night, according to Newark Mayor Ras Baraka.

Between five and seven vehicles were reported on fire on board the Grande Coaster Eadoirio at the port at Berth 18, level 10 with the fire extending to Level 12, according to Newark Public Safety Director Fritz Fragé.

The fire was under control by 11:30 p.m. but firefighters were at the scene all night. A search was conducted for the firefighters after a mayday call was transmitted.

"Unfortunately, we lost two members today. This is a tragedy," Newark Fire Chief Rufus Jackson said during a press briefing.

The firefighters were later identified as Augie Acabou, 45, and Wayne Brooks, 49. Five firefighters were treated for injuries during the fire.

"We are grateful for the outpouring of support the community has extended to Newark Firefighters. Just as we have always been there for the people of Newark in their time of need, you are here for us in our time of need," Mike Giunta, President of the Newark Firefighters Union said in a statement. "We will honor the sacrifice of Augie and Bear by continuing to do the job they loved, so if the people of Newark need help, we are still a phone call away.

FDNY boat pours water on the on-fire cargo ship at Port Newark.
FDNY boat pours water on the on-fire cargo ship at Port Newark (CBS New York via Facebook)

Baraka said the ship was carrying 5,000 cars and that fire companies from around the area responded to help Newark search for the missing firefighters. Video showed some firefighters being taken from the scene on stretchers.

There were "acts of bravery and camaraderie today that's unparalleled" by firefighters during the fire, Baraka said.

Response to a fire on board the cargo ship Grande Coaster Eadoirio at Port Newark
Response to a fire on board the cargo ship Grande Coaster Eadoirio at Port Newark (FreedomNews.tv via YouTube)

Not a normal fire

Jackson said the fire was not a common type of fire for city firefighters but they answered the call anyway.

"It's in the city and we have members, brave men and women of the Newark Fire Department who go out and put these uniforms on and they fight fires, protect homes and save life in the City of Newark every single day,"  Jackson said. "Although this is a difficult fire and a different type of fire they're still willing to put themselves on the line."

The FDNY special rescue team also responded to the fire. The U.S. Coast Guard sent a team to the fire to monitor for pollution.

The New Jersey Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association sent thoughts and prayers to the families of the deceased firefighters. The union also sent support to two Elizabeth firefighters injured at the Port Newark fire.

Gov. Phil Murphy in a tweet said he is mourning the loss of the firefighters "who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty."

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

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