Key West Firehouse Museum

Island Genn sitting on an antique fire engine in the Key West Firehouse Museum.

The Key West Firehouse Museum is an informative museum for those interested in firefighting and/or history. The building, formerly Firehouse No. 3, was active from 1907 until 1998. It is one of the oldest firehouses in the state of Florida. Retired Key West firefighter Alex Vega founded the Old Firehouse Preservation Inc. to save the firehouse from demolition and  preserve it for locals and visitors alike. He and the other docents, all retired firefighters, are friendly and excited to share the history of Firehouse No. 3 with its visitors.

The museum contains items on display related to firefighting not only from Key West, but from all over the world, with some items dating back to the early 1900’s. There is no doubt that you will see and learn much about firefighting and its history, especially in regards to Key West and how it has helped to shape our island. Here is a run down of some of the exhibits.

This fire bell was relocated from a tower at the cemetery. It rang to alert of a fire and for curfew.

A memorial piece of steel from the North Tower of the World Trade Center which was presented to the museum by members of the FDNY at a ceremony on September 11, 2012. If you are on the island on this auspicious date, you may be able to watch the remembrance ceremony that is held here. Unfortunately this year, Hurricane Irma caused the event to be cancelled.

In the second bay you can find part of the original brick floor and a very rare indoor coal pit to store coal for the days of the horse-drawn steamer.

An early fire alarm system used to inform the firehouse of local fires is a pretty cool contraption that the guide will be happy to demonstrate for you. Unbelievably, some towns still use these old systems today!

A replica horse stall from the days of the horse drawn carriages is inside the building as well. The firehouses’s favorite horse is paid homage to here as well.

This Mamey tree is over 100 years old. Each year, the firehouse uses the fruit from this tree to make ice-cream and hold a community celebration.

Visitors can also walk through the old sleeping quarters, see firemen uniforms through the years, imagine how they spent some of their time in the firehouse, and check out a wall of pictures of Key West’s fire chiefs throughout the years.

Key West Firehouse Museum, located at 1026 Grinnell Street, is open 10AM to 3PM Tuesday – Saturday. Admission is $10 per adult, but firefighters do get a discount, and children under age 12 are free.

To see what is happening on the island during your visit, check out our Key West Events Calendar. For more information about the fun side of Key West… things to do and see in our island city, go to our Key West Web Site.

Island Genn – Your Key West Concierge

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