A devastating incident unfolded Wednesday night at Port Newark as two brave Newark firefighters lost their lives while battling a fire on a ship. The firefighters became trapped during their heroic efforts to extinguish the flames, which erupted on a ship docked at Export Street and Marsh Street in Newark.
The distress call was received around 9:30 p.m. when authorities were alerted to multiple vehicles ablaze on a ship at Port Newark. Newark Firefighters swiftly responded to the scene, fully aware of the dangerous situation they were about to confront.
Upon arrival, the firefighters were faced with a daunting task as they encountered a fire that had broken out in five to seven cars on the 11th and 12th floors of the ship, known as the Grande Costa D’Avorio.
Newark Fire Chief Rufus Jackson described the valiant efforts of his team, stating, “Members made an attempt to extinguish the fire but got pushed back by the intense heat. Two firefighters were lost while conducting this action of backing out of the structure.”
Tragically, the two firefighters, who remain unidentified at this time, were later discovered inside the expansive ship and pronounced dead.
The courageous firefighters were not the only ones affected by the harrowing incident. Several other firefighters sustained injuries during their relentless battle against the engulfing flames. They were quickly transported to University Hospital in Newark for immediate medical attention.
The ship, carrying approximately 5,000 vehicles, posed immense challenges for the firefighting teams, who valiantly fought the blaze into the early hours of the morning.
Mayor Ras Baraka highlighted the magnitude of the situation, stating, “There are about 5,000 cars on the boat, just to give you a perspective. This is a very huge structure that these guys had to breach. In the process, we had two calls for maydays.”
Gov. Murphy said in a statement: “Our hearts are heavy today as we mourn the loss of two Newark firefighters, who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Tammy and I extend our deepest condolences to their families and loved ones, and we pray that those injured have a full and speedy recovery. This tragedy is a painful reminder of the dangers our firefighters face and their remarkable courage.”