News Headlines
Wed. Jul 1st 2020
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Congratulations to Firefighter Andrew Kutz on his retirement after more than 26 years of serviceAndrew Kutz was hired in April of 1994. After completing the fire academy, Kutz was assigned to the B pl...
Wed. Jul 1st 2020
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Local 1803 Union firefighters setup another bread handout for the citizens of Reading. Members have now set up at multiple locations over the city to create better access to those in need. Today&rsquo...
Sun. Jun 21st 2020
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Around the hours of 2315, one of our firehouses was struck by gun fire. Multiple rounds were fired in the area, striking a moving vehicle, the parking authority building across the street, as well as ...
Tue. Jun 16th 2020
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Tuesday, firefighters from our Union Local set up and handed out bread to residents in our city. We were able to hand out every loaf! Thank you to our community residents for accepting and we hope it ...
Thu. Jun 4th 2020
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The Reading Fire Department Recruit Academy is moving closer to graduation after a challenging few months. COVID-19 restrictions have impacted the academy at every level. The class traveled to the Yor...
Fire Museum

 

The Reading Area Firefighters Museum is committed to the preservation of the 1876 built structure at South Fifth & Laurel Streets, Reading, PA. This includes the building contents consisting of firefighting memorabilia, antique furnishings, and the John Wanamaker designed "best room". The museum will serve as a permanent facility for the public exhibition and the safe storage of items related to the history of firefighting in the Reading & Berks County area.

The Liberty Fire Company No. 5

The firehouse, located at the southeast corner of South Fifth and Laurel Streets in the Callowhill Historic District, is one of the most important architectural and historic landmarks in the City of Reading and Berks County. The site has functioned as a fire company's headquarters since 1854, on the same site but in a building demolished in 1875 for the construction of the present facility. In 2010, the city vacated the structure, moving it's sole Engine company to a new quarters in the 18th ward. The station was sold to the city to be operated as a fire museum.

 

 

 

 

Model of Company's First Steam Engine

The unusual combination of utilitarian purpose and architectural quality of the structure and its intact original character makes it one of the best preserved historical landmarks in the city and county. Numerous tours have been conducted through the building and without exception of the tour participants, whatever their age, background or experience, has been genuine surprise mixed with respect and appreciation for the elegance and beauty of the rooms.

 

 

A task force has been formed to restore and preserve the station, and has already begun restoration efforts. The official incorporated group is known as the Reading Area Fire-Fighters Museum, Inc. It is a Pennsylvania 501(C)(3) Corporation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to funds received through a State grant, the organization launched two official fundraisers for the restoration; an authentic reproduction of The 1938 History of the Reading Fire Department and a second book titled Reading Firefighting.  Both are available for $20, and can be purchased at Barnes & Noble, Borders, the Berks County Historical Society and the Fire Administration Office in City Hall.

                                                                              

 

To arrange a tour of the Museum,

please contact the Fire Chief's Office 610-655-6080
 

To Contact the museum click here

Fire Museum Officials
PresidentWilliam Rehr III
Vice PresidentTerry Francis
SecretaryLarry Wiskeyman
TreasurerEarl Bansner
Restoration SpecialistRalph Bascelli


More Photos Here


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