Squad 51 & Engine 51 from TV’s “Emergency” in Bellflower, CA
Located just off Bellflower Boulevard in Bellflower, California, in a nondescript building with little-to-no signage, is the L.A. County Fire Museum. Even without the signs, it’s easy to spot by all of the fire equipment outside. It’s not in the greatest part of town, and parking can be a challenging, but once you get inside you’ll understand that this is a very special place. Admission is free (!), with a suggested donation of $5.
This is what we’ll call a ‘working’ museum, meaning, in large part it’s a garage. And some of the exhibits might be up on the lift getting some work done. In that way, it reminded me of the small air museum in Paso Robles, CA. I really like these kinds of museums, as it lets you get up-close with the subjects and exhibits.
At the entrance to the museum, there is a room jam-packed of fire uniforms, helmets, handheld equipment, etc. And I mean ‘jam packed’. They are a little tight-for-space, and they have a lot of artifacts.
Once you get into the floor of the museum, I.E., the garage, you may be overwhelmed with the number, and variety, of firefighting apparatus on display.
The centerpiece to the LA County Fire Museum collection is, of course, the fire engines and rescue truck featured in the television show “Emergency!“. A few times, over the course of the first 2 seasons, Engine 51 was an old, open-compartment, 1965 Crown Firecoach Triple, seen with its counterpart from Station 36.
By the third season, Engine 51 was upgraded to the 1974 Ward-LaFrance fire engine.
And the crown jewel of the collection is Squad 51. Well, at least one of the three 1972 Dodge D300 trucks used while the series was being filmed. This model is in outstanding shape, the team did a wonderful job restoring it.
The L.A. County Fire Museum is a real treat. If you are in the area, and are a fan of Emergency1, or just of fire-fighting, I highly recommend that you see it.
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