NOTICE: The Central Parking Lot will be CLOSED on Friday, June 2 through Sunday, June 4 for The Friends Bag of Books Sale.

Fire Houses

The building of fire stations throughout the city became common in the early 20th century as the city limits expanded outward from its central business district and historic neighborhoods. By 1900, the fire department had evolved from volunteer units into an operative, public service, and the construction of fire stations reflected their importance to the community. The origins of the fire department reach back into the 1840s after the passing of fire prevention-related ordinances, but not until the first decade of the 20th century was their a robust, municipal response to the destructive force of building fires. In 1854, Firemen’s Hall was built along the 200 block of S. Burdick Street, on the west side of the street. As water retention systems evolved, and the technological apparatuses and modes of transportation were honed, fighting fires became less dangerous, and more effective. Most of these historical stations have been preserved, renovated and repurposed.

Central Fire Station (Demolished)

Northeast corner of S. Burdick and W. Lovell Street

Central Fire House, S. Burdick and Lovell St., c.1955. P-746
Fire House No. 2

1249 Portage Street

Fire House No. 2 prior to renovation, c.1980. P-1364
Fire House No. 3

607 Charlotte Avenue

Fire House No. 3
Fire House No. 4

526 N. Burdick Street

Fire House No. 4
Fire House No. 5

625 Douglas Avenue

Fire House No. 5, P-1383
Fire House No. 6

Corner of South Westnedge Ave. and Wheaton St.

Fire House No. 6, c.1941. P-749
Fire House No. 7

2331 Parkview Avenue

Fire House No. 7

Article written by Ryan Gage, Kalamazoo Public Library staff, May 2023

Kalamazoo City Directories

Kalamazoo Lost & Found, Lynn Smith Houghton and Pamela Hall O’Connor, (H720.9774 H838)

History of the Kalamazoo Fire Department (H 352.3 K141)

History of the Kalamazoo Fire Department, 1843-1900, P.F. Rohloff (H352.3 R73)

Local History Room Files

Subject Files: Fire Stations

Subject Files: Fires and Firemen

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