Families say faulty vehicle caused cargo ship fire that killed two New Jersey firefighters

Families of two Newark firefighters who died battling a cargo ship fire announce plans to sue....
Households of two Newark firefighters who died battling a cargo ship fireplace announce plans to sue. (NEWS 12 NEW JERSEY LLC, NEWARK FIRE DIVISION, CNN)

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The households of two New Jersey firefighters who had been killed battling a July blaze inside a cargo ship stated Friday a malfunctioning car getting used to load cargo onto the ship precipitated the hearth.

Family of Newark firefighters Captains Augusto “Augie” Acabou and Wayne “Bear” Brooks Jr. held a information convention outdoors the firehouse the place the 2 had labored, saying litigation to be filed within the coming months will search to carry accountable the Italian transport firm that owned the ship, in addition to two stevedore firms concerned in loading the vessel.

The households have already got filed a discover of intent to sue town of Newark, alleging town didn’t adequately practice firefighters to battle onboard ship fires.

The 2 died battling a fireplace that broke out July 5 when the Grande Costa d’Avorio caught fireplace in Port Newark, one of many nation’s busiest seaports. The vessel was carrying cars.

“Wayne was taken from us in a fashion that was fully preventable,” stated Michele Brooks, the widow of Wayne Brooks.

The information convention was held outdoors the headquarters of Engine 16 on what would have been Acabou’s forty sixth birthday. His brother Miguel stated the households “need to stop future occurrences like this from taking place, so no different households should endure, similar to we’re, and can perpetually.”

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka stated he understands the households’ want to know what occurred “in order that they will make some form of sense out of their loss.”

“Town needs the identical factor,” Baraka stated. “We belief that the investigators are finishing their course of as rapidly and expeditiously as doable whereas sustaining the integrity of their examination and evaluation. It’s my deep hope that this investigation will yield the knowledge the households want for therapeutic, and that the solutions will profit all firefighters in Newark, and in every single place.”

Mark Apostolos, an lawyer for the households, stated his agency’s investigation decided {that a} Jeep Wrangler getting used to push cargo on board the ship was noticed to have been emitting smoke from its engine compartment a number of hours earlier than the hearth started.

“Regardless of that, these males continued to make use of that Jeep Wrangler till it began a blaze,” he stated. “That Jeep Wrangler ended up inflicting a large inferno to happen aboard the ship’s high decks.”

Acabou and Brooks “had been precipitated to enter into that fireplace and in the end made the last word sacrifice,” Apostolos stated.

He stated authorized time restraints have to date prevented the submitting of a lawsuit within the case, which he stated would occur within the coming months.

The Grimaldi Group, the Italian firm that owns the ship, didn’t instantly reply to a message in search of remark Friday. The corporate has beforehand stated the crew instantly activated onboard fireplace suppression procedures and native firefighters had been referred to as, triggering a immediate response that was essential to containing and controlling the blaze. It additionally stated no electrical automobiles or hazardous cargo had been on board, no gasoline spills had been detected, and the soundness of the ship was not compromised.

However Apostolos faulted the efficiency of two five-member firefighting groups consisting of crew members who had been accountable for making an attempt to place out the hearth. He stated they didn’t put it out utilizing extinguishers and hoses, and likewise incorrectly used a CO2-based fireplace suppression system designed to extinguish a fireplace by depriving it of oxygen, snuffing it out.

Whereas the system was activated, a door to the principle storage on deck 12 remained open, offering the hearth with steady oxygen to maintain the flames, and rendering the CO2 system ineffective, Apostolos stated.

He stated the U.S. Coast Guard has not but decided an official reason for the hearth. The Coast Guard didn’t reply to a request for remark Friday.


Observe Wayne Parry on X, previously referred to as Twitter, at https://twitter.com/WayneParryAC.

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