NEWARK - Mourners make their way into Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart on Thursday to say goodbye to Newark firefighter Augusto Acabou.
Outside the cathedral, hearts were just as heavy.
"We had a brother that passed in March and the support was overwhelming, and we like to come back and show our support," said Roy Jessie, a Firefighter with the Buffalo Fire Department who came to pay his respects.
Last Wednesday, Acabou was killed alongside fellow firefighter Wayne Brooks Jr. while battling this massive blaze on board a cargo ship at Port Newark.
Before joining the department in 2013, Acabou worked as a security officer at Newark's JFK Hospital, which was how Maria Pinzon came to know him.
"It's tough. When I used to work overnight I would see him and just not being able to see him again is tough," Pinzon said.
Affectionately called "Augie" by those who knew him, his personality was among the many reflections shared by the brothers with whom he shared the firehouse.
Childhood friend and fellow Newark firefighter Eddie Powell told the audience, "It's so cliche when someone pass away to say how nice a person was but in this case he really was. He really was."
During the mass, the city of Newark posthumously promoted 45-year-old Augusto Acabou to the rank of Captain, a proclamation met with a loving round of applause and many silent tears.