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another fire engine from the second room
Hall of Flame Fire Museum
Closest available address
6101 E Van Buren Street Phoenix, AZ 85008
Open Monday-Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm and Sunday 12 Noon to 4:00pm.
Best time to visit
Hall of Flame Fire Museum is a fire equipment museum and firefighter hall of fame. It’s housed in an industrial warehouse type of building. The museum showcases an extensive collection of firefighting equipment including over 130 vehicles from hundreds of years ago to the late 20th century. There are also helmets, patches, tools, and artwork. The hall of fame section profiles many heroic firefighters. There is approximately 35,000 square feet of display space.
The museum was started by George Getz, Jr., in 1961. His interest in fire engine equipment began with a present from his wife in 1953 of a 1924 fire engine. Getz frequently gave rides to neighborhood children in the refurbished fire engine. The museum was located in Wisconsin till 1970 when it moved to Arizona. It opened at the current location in 1974. Additional galleries were added over time. The hall of fame wing opened in 1998.
Although the facilities were a bit dated and somewhat inelegant, there was an impressive range of vehicles from very simple pumps in colonial days to fully equipped fire engines from more recent times. With 5 large galleries to check out, it’s likely your interest will wane or you will run out of time before you run out of things to see. It’s not just vehicles either; there is a huge collection of patches and helmets as well. One major downside is that most of the interpretive information is provided via a three ring notebook made available after you enter. As you walk around checking out the displays, you continually have to refer to the notebook which became tedious after a while. The museum should address this by installing signs for the exhibits. In addition to the core displays, there also was a smaller but still insightful exhibit area about forest fires as well as some original call center machinery used to route emergency equipment. Save a few minutes to read at least some of the hall of fame firefighter profiles. Their bravery and sacrifice are admirable and moving. This museum will most appeal to people who are into basic equipment like cars, trucks and planes, especially those who like to see things more than to read about them. Also, men will probably find it more engaging than women. There are enough child-oriented exhibits and play areas to keep younger kids entertained. An open house day with modern fire trucks, helicopters, and activities for kids is held each year in October.
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