San Diego Firehouse Museum


Location: Downtown San Diego (Little Italy)

Hours: Thursday and Friday 10AM – 2PM; Saturday and Sunday 10AM – 4PM

Cost: $3 (Free for Kids).

Features: Firehouse Full of Old Fire Engines, including an 1841 Rumsey Hand Pumper; Listen to Stories from Firefighters.

Trucks and Engines at the FirehouseSan Diego Firehouse Museum Highlights: The Firehouse Museum was created in 1962. It formerly served as the home to the fire station in Little Italy. Today, the non-profit Pioneer Hood & Ladder Company maintains and operates the Museum, which is a favorite for kids as well as adults who enjoy looking at relics from years past. The oldest relic is an 1841 Rumsey hand pumper managed by a bucket brigade. You will also see a 1903 Metropolitan Steamer and other fire station nostalgia that shows how firefighting equipment and techniques have improved over the years.

The Firehouse Museum has three rooms of fire engines, a firetruck, and other relics. (By the way, most fire vehicles are referred to as fire engines. The ones with an aerial ladder used to fight tall building fires are called fire trucks. It helps to know the right lingo as you look at the various items.) Generally, there is a retired firefighter on hand to show you through the Museum. If not, there are a few firehouse copies of a Museum Guide that describes the history of the fire engines, some coming from as far away as New York. There is one fire engine that kids and adults can hop aboard and see what it is like to sit up high like a firefighter.

Plan on a half hour to explore the life and history of firefighting. Also, don’t miss the few gift items available for purchase.

If you are interested in learning more about firefighting in San Diego, visit the City of San Diego’s Firefighting and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) web site. You will find a list of San Diego Fire Stations, pictures and descriptions of fire engines and fire trucks used by the City of San Diego, and information on Fire Safety and Education. You can even arrange a tour of a San Diego fire station.

Food – If you are hungry when visiting near lunch time, head west on Cedar Street one block to reach India Street, where you will find dozens of restaurants.

Information on Visiting the Firehouse Museum in San Diego

Admission Prices:

  • Parking will range from $0 – $2 (See more parking information below.)
  • Entrance Fee is $3 (Free for Kids.)

Directions from Google Maps to 1572 Columbia Street in San Diego, CA 92101. (At the Corner of Columbia and West Cedar Streets.)

Parking – There is metered street parking near the Museum that runs about $1.25 per hour with a limit of 2 hours. There are a handful of free street parking spots a couple blocks east of the Museum. Also note, street parking is Free on Sundays.

Traffic – Getting in and out of downtown using using highways I-5, SR-163, and SR-94 is relatively easy. (The Front Street Exit off of the I-5 is just a few blocks away from the Museum.)

Traffic is very light during the Museum’s hours and you should not expect any delays. (Learn how to get the latest highway traffic updates.)

Once you are downtown, you will find most of the streets are one-way, on an alternating basis, including Columbia Street. (You can see them if you zoom in on Google Maps.)

Transit – The Trolley’s Blue Line stops three blocks away from the Firehouse Museum at the Little Italy Station. (See San Diego Transit Information for the downtown transit map and information for the online Transit Planner.) Walking around Downtown San Diego is easy since it is flat.

Find More Attractions with Similar Themes or Location: Kids Attractions & Activities, Little Italy, Nostalgia & Western Frontier |

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