🔥 The fire in the cargo ship Grande Costa D'Avorio was declared "out" Tuesday

🔥 Investigation and salvage of the vessel will get underway

🔥 Funerals for the firefighters who died get underway Thursday

NEWARK — The fire on board an Italian cargo ship is completely extinguished and investigators are able to go on board nearly a week after it started and killed two firefighters.

"We can officially declare the fire is out," U.S. Coast Guard Unified Command Capt. Zeita Merchant said during a media briefing Tuesday morning.

The operations at the Port of Newark will transition to an investigative phase including salvage operations which could take up to two months.

Port Authority Port Director Bethann Rooney clarified that the ship had made a stop in Baltimore before doing in Newark to take on new and used vehicles. It was supposed to make a similar stop in Providence, Rhode Island before heading to West Africa with 1,200 vehicles parked on 12 decks.

The gas tanks on the cars are supposed to be drained of most of their fuel and batteries are supposed to be disconnected.

"There is no report of the cargo we have on board, in terms of the manifest, that we have lithium-ion batteries on board the ship," Rooney said, referring to electric vehicle batteries that can cause hard-to-extinguish fires.

Gov. Phil Murphy views the Grande Costa D'Avorio at Port Newark 7/6/23
Gov. Phil Murphy views the Grande Costa D'Avorio at Port Newark 7/6/23 (Gov Phil Murphy)

Staffing, training questions go unanswered

The Port of Newark channel where the Grande Costa D'Avorio is docked reopened Sunday.

Merchant would not address questions about staffing, training, availability and whether or not firefighters responding to the fire knew no lives were at stake, citing the ongoing investigation.

The Newark Firefighters Union holds a briefing of its own Tuesday to talk about staffing. A union spokesman told ABC 7 Eyewitness News that 80 positions are currently open at the city's firehouses.

The separate funerals for firefighters Augusto Acabou, 45, and Wayne Brooks, Jr who died are scheduled to begin Wednesday. Acabou's viewing is Wednesday from 4 - 8 p.m. followed by a funeral Thursday at 10 a.m. Brooks' viewing is Thursday from 4 - 8 p.m. and his funeral at 10 a.m. Friday.

All viewings and services will be at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark.

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