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Wayne Brooks Jr., second firefighter killed in Port Newark cargo ship fire, remembered at funeral

By CHRISTINE SLOAN, ZINNIA MALDONADO

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    NEWARK, New Jersey (WCBS) — Family and friends remembered Wayne Brooks Jr., one of the two Newark firefighters killed in the cargo ship fire, at his funeral on Friday.

Hundreds of firefighters, many from around the U.S., attended the service to pay their respects.

Fire Capt. Augusto Acabou, who also died in last week’s fire, was laid to rest on Thursday.

Brooks’ heartbroken family followed the casket into the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart before his two daughters spoke about their father.

“The most amazing man and dad. I love you so much and you will be greatly missed by all,” said Taylor Brooks.

“You haven strengthened me, guided me and protected me,” said Dasia Vaughn.

Brooks, a 16-year veteran of the Newark Fire Department and affectionately known as “Bear,” graduated first in his class at the fire academy and loved to cook for fellow firefighters, his friends said.

“Brooks is one of those guys that he always looked out for the people he worked with. His love for the job, he loves the fire department and stuff like that. Whatever he could do for the fire department, he did,” said Jonathan Detras. “It’s one of those times where he died doing what he loved to do.”

Brooks graduated from St. Benedict’s Prep and worked for United Airlines. He qualified for the Junior Olympics in fencing at a young age.

Gov. Phil Murphy has ordered U.S. and New Jersey flags to fly at half staff Friday.

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