No 1 Fire Station
Before No. 1 Fire Station was built in 1900, the Fire Brigade operated from the undercover area beneath the Town Hall on Barrack Street. Fire brigades in Western Australia expanded rapidly after the Fire Brigades Act of 1898. There were just 21 in 1902, but twenty years later this number had doubled.
The expansion of the service from 1898 meant the Central Fire Station under the Town Hall was no longer sufficient, so a new station was planned on the corner of Murray and Irwin Streets which opened in 1901. Designed by architects Cavanagh and Cavanagh, the new building was Romanesque in style, with solid rock-faced stone walls and a red-tiled roof.
The large engine room had three exits and held two large steamers and two hose carts, which doubled the equipment with which the brigade had previously been working. When a call was received, an officer pressed a button, which set the alarms ringing, flooded the building with electric light, and opened the trap doors in the ceilings to clear the sliding poles.
No. 1 Fire Station was used until 1979, after which it was converted for use as a Fire Brigade Education and Heritage Centre. Today, No. 1 Fire Station remains a popular museum and education centre, visited by both schools and the public, and one of Perth’s most important heritage buildings connected with our firefighting service.