The San Diego Firehouse Museum in Little Italy is more than meets the eye from the outside, and is definitely worthy of your time to explore if you have even a modicum of interest in historical firefighting equipment.
The museum is located in the old San Diego Fire Station Number 6, and contains historical firefighting equipment dating to the 1800’s, as well as more contemporary pieces. You can see everything from hand tools to restored pumpers to vintage fire engines. From the outside, the museum doesn’t appear to be all that large, but once inside, there’s plenty to explore in several large display rooms.
One of the displays that was particularly interesting—and moving—was the tribute to the firefighters who went into the World Trade Center in New York on 9/11. Seeing the twisted steel and broken stone remnants from the twin towers in person brought me back to that fateful September day in 2001 when the world changed forever. I was surprised by how being in the presence of those objects affected me; memories of that day returned in vivid detail.
Also of personal interest to me was the map of the 2003 Cedar Fire. My mother and I were visiting San Diego the week before the fire started, and we had just been out to Julian and Lake Cuyamaca days before the fire destroyed over 280,000 acres; 2,200 homes, and took 15 lives. It was—and still remains—the largest wildfire in California recorded history.
In addition to the three main display rooms in the museum, there’s also a large meeting space that’s available for rent if you want to have your next gathering in a firehouse museum. In one of the smaller rooms off to the side, your children can learn about fire safety in the Children’s Safety Room.
If you’re a fan of firefighters and vintage fire equipment and tools, explore the San Diego Firehouse Museum.
What You Need To Know
Location: 1572 Columbia Street, San Diego, CA 92101
Thursday–Friday: 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Saturday–Sunday: 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Cost: Adults: $3; Kids: $2
Tips: Parking in Little Italy is mostly metered street parking or pay parking lots. The County Center/Little Italy Green Line trolley station is just a few blocks away. There’s more to the museum than meets the eye from the outside, so plan on taking a little longer than you expected to go through it.
Click to see full-sized photos.
Visited: 12 February 2017