The Memphis Fire Museum (FMOM) is now the most popular tourist destination in the mid-south region. Located at 118 Adams Avenue in downtown Memphis, the historic Fire Engine House No. 1 is home to America’s greatest interactive fire museum.
Fire departments from around the country and the world visit the FMOM to learn from their methods and practices. The Fire Museum of Memphis is the first of its type to collect data to evaluate the efficacy of its fire prevention public education curriculum, and it is doing so in partnership with the University of Memphis.
Opening Hours and Fees at the Museum
The museum is often used as a celebration spot for kids’ birthdays and other celebrations. The museum is open Mondays to Saturdays, 9 AM to 4:30 PM, and on Sundays, from 1 PM to 4:30 PM. Adult tickets are $10, and children’s tickets are $8. Children under the age of 2 go in free. Discounts of $8 are available for those 62 and older and for military personnel.
The History of the Museum
The museum was established in 1910 with the goals of recognizing and preserving the heritage of the fire service and its contribution to the community through education on fire and life safety; reducing injuries, deaths, and property losses due to fire; and recognizing and preserving the history of the fire service. Providing exhibitions of historical artifacts is made feasible.
The firehouse was active until February of 1973. This building temporarily housed the Traffic Bureau of the local police force in the immediate aftermath. A steering group was established in 1992 to explore the feasibility of establishing a museum and fire safety education center (at that time, the rate of deaths by fire was about 2.5 times higher than the national average). Since the museum opened in 1998, fewer people have died in fires.
The museum has hands-on displays and videos documenting its history, and renovating the museum cost about $1.50 million in 2014.
Exhibits and Features of the Museum
This turn-of-the-century firehouse is on the National Register of Historic Places and has educational exhibits, hands-on safety activities, and vintage fire trucks. A 1910 Crump Steamer fire engine and other pre-World War II Memphis Fire Department assets are on display. Vintage fire trucks, clothes, helmets, and a simulated blaze are also on display.
Among the greatest in the nation, this museum focuses on the history of firefighting. All of the displays in this museum are from the 1900s and earlier. These exhibits chronicle the development of firefighting in the United States. Museum exhibits include a reconstructed Hale Water Tower from 1897, which was in operation until 1973 for fighting fires in buildings taller than two storeys, and other early 20th-century pieces of firefighting apparatus. The museum has a wealth of information on various fascinating topics.
The “Fire Room” display recreates the impact of historical fires and other calamities using state-of-the-art technology. As you watch firefighters battle massive blazes, the intensity of the heat will be palpable. Moreover, a talking horse shares firefighting tales from the past. There is also an interactive display that teaches visitors about fire safety and emergency services and a horse-drawn steam engine from 1910. A photo exhibit also depicts the city’s first African American firefighters.
In addition to the fire engines on display, the museum also features a collection of vintage clothes, toys, and equipment related to firefighting, including helmets, badges, lanterns, and scale models of fire trucks from the United States and Europe. The progression of a house fire may be safely shown in a fire simulation room, allowing visitors to experience the heat of the fire without risk. The simulation is designed to make the user feel like they are in a home fire. Children of all ages will enjoy the opportunity to (pretend to) drive to a fire or medical emergency and play with real fire trucks and emergency medical equipment.
The museum is located in what was formerly Fire Station No. 1, recreated in miniature to demonstrate how it looked in 1910. Children may climb inside the E-One fire truck’s crew cab, play with a real ambulance, and learn about and use a real Ward-LaFrance Pumper. Children may play arcade games designed to teach them about fire safety and other vital safety measures in a dedicated arcade room.
Be sure to pay your respects at the Memorial Wall, a monumental sculpture honoring the Memphis firefighters who have sacrificed their lives in the line of duty since 1880. Each Memphis firefighter who has died in the line of duty since 1880 is memorialized on the museum’s east front with a sculpture over 22 feet in height. There are fifty-four names inscribed on the memorial’s wall in stone. Another place to visit in Memphis >> The Mississippi River Museum.