The Clear Lake Fire Museum, the first such in Iowa, was dedicated on September 3, 1986 by then Governor Terry Branstad at the start of the Iowa Firefighter’s Association Convention in the city.
Most of the building was constructed by firefighters in their spare time. Central to the exhibits is the still-operative
1924 Ahrens-Fox Pumper Engine. This “Rolls-Royce" of fire engines was a major firefighter from 1925 until the 1975 Central School fire.
Although the city has never had a live-in fire squad that required a brass pole to quickly slide down from sleeping quarters to the truck, the Fire Museum shows one in position.
Many of the exhibits in the museum were donated by firefighters and fire departments. including Mason City’s which Mason City donated their Safety Net, which was used ofor training.
The building includes a Fire Education Class Room dedicated to Jack Evans and used for educating school children on fire safety.
The office for the Clear Lake Fire Department officers is on the upper floor.
In the lower floor is the classroom and kitchen for the department. There is also a television, and plenty of comfortable chairs and sofas for resting squad members.
The design of the building is that of similar structures of the early 1920s.
There is a large collection of early fire extinguishers on exhibit, as well as old fire-fighting equipment. Demonstrations show why fire buckets had rounded bottoms.
The museum is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Visitation arrangements also can also be made through the fire department or police dispatcher. Admission is free. Picnic tables are located on the property, which is also a city park.