The Hall of Flame Fire Museum is the largest collection of firefighting equipment in the United States, and do not let its outside warehouse looking exterior fool you because on the inside there are close to 80 firefighting engines. If you have a fire bug in the family then this is the go to destination, and even if you are not that into firefighting just looking at some of the old firefighting apparatus and seeing how decorative they were is worth the time to stop by and visit. I had not planned on stopping by this museum in fact I did not even know about it, but I saw a sign as I was leaving Papago Park heading south towards the highway. I had already spent most of the day at the park going to the Phoenix Zoo and the Botanical Garden and was not quite ready to head back to the hotel so I decided to check out the Hall of Flame. It was well worth the visit.
The museum covers close to 35,000 square feet and is divided up into six different halls or galleries. What I thought was the most fascinating pieces there were the fire engines from the 18th and 19th centuries. It was interesting to see how decorative some of these pieces were compared to others. One would think that they would use whatever set design was the most practical. This museum has all sorts of different kinds of fire wagons from ones that called ladders to chemicals. The Hall of Flame Fire Museum was not just about century old fire units they also had fire engines from the 20th century all the way up to the late 1960s. It was neat to see the progression of the fire vehicles.
The Hall of Flame Fire Museum also has a section dedicated to those that fight forest fires. In this section they have a replica of a forest lookout station, mannequins in wildfire gear, and the tools of the Wildland Firefighting Corps. Other areas of the museum include a patch and firefighters helmet display which has patches and helmets from around the world. An interactive fire safety house and an operations station to show us civilians what happens when a fire alarm is pulled. For the kids they also have a big fire engine that they can explore, and they can play dress up in firefighters gear while playing on the big red fire truck.
Of course this museum is not just about firefighting tools, but also about the men and women who are fire fighters. One of the galleries of the museum is the National Firefighting Hall of Heroes which list thousands of names of firefighters who have died since 1981 doing their duty. They use 1981 and not earlier because 1981 was the first year that national records were kept. In this hall, they also have a computer database which lists firefighters that were killed on the job since 1800s. There is also a September 11th memorial to the firefighters and police officers that were killed in the attack on the World Trade Center. The Hall of Flame Fire Museum also has a display to heroic firefighters that have been recognized by Firehouse Magazine for deeds above the call of duty.
The Hall of Flame Museum is an interesting stop in Phoenix. If you or a loved one is at all interested in firefighting or you have a child that loves to see big engines/machines then I highly recommend going. It is a specialty museum and they have done a wonderful job collecting the pieces that make this place special.
Hall of Flame Fire Museum
Located at 6101 E. Van Buren Street, Phoenix AZ
Hours of Operation- Monday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. & Sunday 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Cost as of this Posting- Adults $6.00 Seniors 62 and over $5.00 Students aged 6 to 17 $4.00 and Children 3 to 5 $1.50
For more information visit their website at http://www.hallofflame.org/