Historic firehouse in Ypsilanti returns to use for firefighters for three days

Firefighters in Ypsilanti are making a brief move back into their old firehouse that's since become a museum to celebrate the historic building and city's 200th birthday.

The Michigan Firehouse Museum is opening doors up again for firefighters for a limited time. Originally built in 1898, the Ypsilanti Firehouse was closed and later revitalized as a museum.

Now, the unique building is returning to its roots - for three days.

To celebrate that rich history, plus the city's 200th birthday - for the next few days, firefighters will be bunking together on the second floor like old times complete with that old fire pole

"I was actually fortunate to work with firefighters that actually worked out of this building - and learned the history of the building - so for us the opportunity to come back here is just great," Ypsilanti Fire Chief Ken Hobbs said. 

It's been more than 50 years since it was a working firehouse and, for the past 25, it's been home to the Michigan Firehouse Museum.

"We're probably one of the premiere fire museums in the country," Director of Operations Dave Egeler said. "Firefighting equipment all the way from the 1600s and 1700s all the way up to modern times."

The collection includes antique fire trucks – which still run – plus firefighter gear, apparel, and old bells.

But it's the stories of the heroes who fought the fires that really stands out.

"Honoring firefighters and women in the fire service, minorities in the fire service, it's just a great place to be," Hobbs said. 

As they celebrate the past, Chief Hobbs is also encouraging young people to consider a future in fire service.

"We just had a group come through the fire station today – mentoring youth – and we talked to them about the fire service and being minorities in the fire service and the opportunities that it affords you. And anything is possible, look at me, I'm the fire chief," Hobbs said.

The Museum is open Thursday through Sunday between noon and 4 p.m. Check out their site here for more information.