The Port Newark cargo ship fire that ki!!ed two firefighters burned Friday and was expected to last several more days.
Vehicle gas tanks exploding prolonged firefighting. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said the fire grew overnight and traveled down two ship floors and 300 feet forward. The governor added “multiple firefighters on the ship itself” are “all privately contracted by the ship’s owner and have specialized training in marine firefighting.”
Murphy stated the ship is “a growing concern, it is currently listing 3 degrees toward the dock, a 5 to 6-degree shift is the danger zone.” “Water is not able to flow out at the rate it is able to flow in, that means the issue of the ship listing is a growing concern,” he said. The Coast Guard and a private marine company are poking holes in the hull to drain trapped water, but debris has clogged the normal outflow spouts, according to ABC news.
“There is no timeline as to if or when the ship would reach the danger zone, as it remains to be seen how successful this operation will be,” Murphy added. Newark’s fire chief says his department lacked training and equipment to fight the flames and that dealing with gas-filled automobiles on a cargo ship is challenging. Wednesday night’s fire trapped two firefighters who died. Newark crews arrived near Export Street and Marsh Street around 9:30 p.m.
As crew and stevedores moved automobiles, vans, and trucks on the 10th deck, the fire erupted. Firefighters found the Grande Costa D’Avorio’s 11th and 12th floors on fire after five to seven cars caught fire.
“Extreme heat prevented members from extinguishing the fire. “Two firefighters died while backing out,” Newark Fire Chief Rufus Jackson said. Firefighters died inside the massive ship. Augusto “Augie” Acabou, 45, and Wayne “Bears” Brooks Jr., 49, died. Engine 16 was home to nine-year Newark Fire Department veteran Acabou. Brooks was Ladder 4 for 16.5 years.
Five firefighters were hurt fighting the fire. Three Newark and two Elizabeth firefighters died. Newark University Hospital treated them. Donjon Marine salvager Gordon Lorenson reported the fire is really hot.
Since the ship is a steel box, firemen can only douse it to cool it and limit the flames. Pumping water to minimize the list would keep the ship stable. Officials report no water sheening and air quality monitoring.
This ship travels between the US and West Africa. It transports 1,200 new and used cars and 157 containers. The ship had no electric cars or dangerous cargo. Officials claimed other ships, largely car carriers, are anchoring to transport goods. 99.5% of container activity was unaffected.