Built in 1930, this museum inside a former fire station is crammed full of uniforms, badges, equipment, and a battalion of emergency red vehicles from different eras of firefighting.
There are 19th century cyberpunk-style pumps and horse-drawn carts, a 1917 Model T Ford, an art deco beauty from the 1930s, retro 1950s and 1970s Cadillacs, and the museum’s pride and joy, a specially made 1963 Crown Manifold Wagon called “Big Bertha” because of its extra-large pump.
Originally Fire Station No. 27, the huge wooden front doors and 18-foot sliding poles are still here too, and tours go through the men’s dormitory and kitchen. There’s also a large room full of every child’s dream, hundreds of toy firetrucks of every description and style. (Though sadly they’re not available for play.)
Being cheek-by-jowl with Hollywood, the firefighters here were often called to celebrity’s homes and studios, and the station occasionally served as movie location. Today it has walls of movie posters and memorabilia from fire-themed blockbusters and a dizzying collection of fire helmets, some of which wouldn’t look out of place on a Paris catwalk.
The volunteer guides are all veterans, and may well talk about trying to quell the flames during the Watts Riots in 1965, or saving books and manuscripts from the 1986 fire at the Central Library.
Know Before You Go
The museum is only open on Saturdays, and has a large memorial statue to fallen firefighters in the courtyard.