VIDEO: Port Newark ship fire continues to burn

Written by Nick Blenkey
Port Newark ship fire thermal imaging

Thermal imaging show how the fire aboard the Grimaldi car carrier is burning within the ship's interior, limiting firefighter acess. [Courtesy Elizabeth Police Department]

The deadly car carrier fire aboard the Grimaldi Deep Sea RO/RO vessel Grande Costa d’Avorio that cost two Newark firefighters their lives continued to burn today and seemed likely to continue burning for several more days.

While many images have emerged showing fireboats pouring water on the exterior of the ship, thermal imaging drone footage of the Port Newark ship fire released by the Elizabeth, N.J., Police Department shows that the main source of the fire is deep within the ship, limiting firefighter access.

Courtesy Elizabeth Police Department


The Coast Guard, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Newark Fire Department, and Gallagher Marine Systems, the representative for the ship operator, have established a Unified Command in Port Newark, supported by federal, state and local emergency response agencies.

The Unified Command says its operational priorities are ensuring the safety of the public and first responders, conducting fire suppression, protecting the environment, and ensuring any economic or operational activities in the port area are minimally affected.

“On behalf of the Unified Command, I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to the families and colleagues of the two firefighters who tragically lost their lives, and those injured during the response,” said Capt. Zeita Merchant, Captain of the Port of New York and Jersey. “We continue to work closely with our partner agencies and neighboring jurisdictions. Together, we are pooling our resources, expertise, and equipment to enhance the safety of all responders and maximize the effectiveness of our response efforts.”

The Unified Command held a press conference today at which it emerged that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey does not have its own fire department but relies on the fire departments of local communities. This raises questions about the availability of the specialized training needed for dealing with ship fires.

Watch the video of the press conference below.

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