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October 1, 2006 by  
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The Houston Fire Museum aims to put out fires before they start

Who doesn’t love firefighters? They are our heroes. Putting themselves in harm’s way, firefighters are dedicated to saving lives. Everyday supermen (and women), firefighters personify Americana.

The Houston Fire Museum strives to represent firefighters – locally and nationally, historically and currently – as well as educate the community about fire and life safety. Located in an old city fire station that was built in 1898, this Midtown museum not only exhibits permanent collections of fire apparatuses, but also portrays the connection between fire and culture. With a locker room that depicts a timeline of service, as well as The Hopkins Collection representing fire artifacts from the 18th-21st centuries, guests are invited to experience the changing face of firefighting. Additionally, the space is home to a structural piece of steel from the World Trade Center, urging patrons to remember the tragedy of 9/11 and the ultimate sacrifice that many emergency personnel made.

Staffed primarily by Houston firefighters, retired and active, groups of all ages are encouraged to visit the museum and learn about fire and life safety. Through age-appropriate demonstrations and lectures, these firefighters encourage students to stay in school, stressing the importance of math, science, chemistry and physics; explain how to fireproof a home and what to do in an emergency; and even teach preschoolers to stay away from fires and play well together.

A nonprofit 501(c)(3), the Houston Fire Museum looks to expand. The present location is simply too small to accommodate all of the student groups that seek its services. Plans include converting the current museum space back into a historically accurate fire station from the late 19th century and building a new structure to house educational programs, as well as exhibits, a public park and memorial.

Interested in getting involved? The museum is eager to accept donations, docents and special event volunteers. Aiming to make the community feel like a part of the museum, family memberships only cost $30 annually. – PF

Houston Fire Museum
2403 Milam
(713) 524-2526
www.houstonfiremuseum.org

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