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Living History at the LAFD Museum

Museum Info

Hollywood Museum

1355 N. Caheunga Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 464 - 2727
SAT 10a - 4p

Harbor Museum

638 Beacon Street
San Pedro, CA 90731
(323) 464 - 2727
SAT 10a - 3p

Off-hour tours available
by special request.

Living History at the LAFD Museum

Greater Alarm Gala Draws Near 2008 Fallen Firefighter Memorial Service
LAFD Historical Society Volunteers
Part of the thrill of visiting Historic Fire Station 27 in Hollywood is the opportunity to interact with some pretty amazing people. While many museums have docents, not many can visit with you and explain things as if they were there - because they were!

Can you imagine touring through a museum and hearing what the dinosaurs were really like? Or what it was like to fight in the Revolutionary War? While we can't boast those credentials, we can offer up something pretty close: Most of our docents were on-the-job LA Firefighters and they are here to tell the tale.

The photo to the right highlights four of our longest-serving volunteers and docents. From the left, Captain Jim Finn (ret) served the LAFD for more than 40 years, retiring just this past month. Benny Holder, also a former Captain, has a wealth of knowledge about the history of the department, even from its earliest years. Bill Dahlquist, our former curator, was a Boat Pilot in the L.A. Harbor, and was lucky enough to serve on the longest-ever in-service piece of firefighting apparatus, Old Fireboat No. 2, the Ralph J. Scott. And finally, Don Dodd, a fireman his entire adult life, comes from a storied family. His great grandfather, Samuel Dodd, was one of the earliest heros of the LAFD, creating the LAFD Firefighting College, perhaps the first truly organized fire preventation, tactics and strategy education center in the country. Together, these four individuals served the LAFD for more years than it has been in existence.

And, there are other former firefighters with stories to tell. Retired Assistant Chief Frank W. Borden fought the Bel Air fire, was involved in a series of major incidents during the course of his career, and was the co-Founder of the Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) program. Today, there are literally thousands of CERT teams around the United States.

So, if you're interested in the history of fire in Los Angeles, there's no better place to come and learn than Historic Fire Station 27 in Hollywood or Old Fire Station 36 in the Harbor. We have guys who can tell you how dramatic the Sansinena fire and explosion was, how hot and smoky the L.A. Library fire was, what it was like to serve with Chief Don Anthony, in the Harbor, the Valley, Hollywood, or Skid Row. We have history on nearly any topic you can think of. We even have some horses for you to admire.

Living History at the LAFD Historical Society. We've got lots of it.


I am one of Sta 52's survivors. On July 10th, 1976 I was involved in an accident in San Pedro. Because of the men of Sta 52, I survived my "DOA" status at the San Pedro & Penninsula Hospital, and years later went on to become a firefighter myself.

I am now in a position, were I am able to donate to the museum, a 1972 Pierre Thibault 100' ladder s/n 855T-462. This was one of LA City's ladders. If interested, please contact me.

November 13th, 2008 // By Scott T. Satrom

Capt. Ben Holder gave us a very enjoyable two-hour tour.

We had a great time and recommend it highly.

May 15th, 2010 // By Jack Follick

Hello , i'm a fan of thibault fire apparatus . Can you tell me more about that truck ? and if i want to see this truck it's possible ? If its possible for you to send me some picture i will realy appreciate it .. my email is

Thank you ,


November 3rd, 2013 // By Denis Groleau

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