|Press Coverage and Media Releases
Current press releases • Press coverage • Archived releases
The Aurora Regional Fire Museum announces the retirement of David Lewis, a co-founder, Curator, Board of Director and a longtime friend of the fire service. His dedication and passion in preservingthe history of the Aurora and surroundingfire departments within the walls of the Museum will truly be missed. [more]
Daily Herald - Dec. 16, 2005
A Nod to the Past: City of Aurora Takes Pride in Restored Firehouse Museum
Easter Sunday 1967 is a day Bob Marks isn’t likely to forget.That day, the cotton mill in downtown Aurora went up in a blaze that people still talk about [more]
Beacon News - Nov. 11, 2005
A big thanks over 50,000 watts
Aurora broadcast: Spike O'Dell thanks firefighters for efforts to save house
Spike O'Dell says he owes a debt of gratitude to the Aurora Fire Department even though firefighters could not save his house during a blaze nearly five months ago. [more]
WGN Radio's - Nov. 10, 2005
Spike O'Dell broadcasts live from Aurora Fire Station #9
David Lewis, Curator of the Aurora Regional Fire Museum is interviewed [more]
Beacon News - Oct. 27, 2005
Program teaches residents to protect homes from fire
No home is guaranteed fireproof, but all can be made safer. That's the message that volunteers took door to door in the Aurora area as part of this year's Red Cross Team FireStopper fire safety education and prevention program. [more]
Northwest Indiana Times - October, 2005
One-Tank Trip: Aurora Regional Fire Museum
Experience the history of firefighters from 1894 on in Aurora, Ill.
With local fire departments focusing on fire prevention this month as part of a nationwide program, kids in the region are probably eager to learn more about firefighting and see more of the equipment used to fight fires. At the Aurora Regional Fire Museum, there's plenty on display, both old and new [more]
PM Engineer - December, 2004
Fire Protection: Well Worth the Trip
A visit to the Aurora Regional Fire Museum is a step back in time...
WLS Television - Sept. 7, 2004
. . . Today the city of Aurora is protected by over 210 firefighters operating out of nine modern fire stations, with three aerial ladder trucks. A visit to the Old Central Station is a walk through history, and heralds tribute to a labor of love whose mission is to educate, entertain, showcase community pride, promote fire safety, and preserve our history. The place is long on charm. For fire protection aficionados, it’s a lot like Cooperstown. [more]
Harry Porterfield's Someone You Should Know
A fire museum curator you should know
That is a sound from the past. A hand cranked siren on a 1918 fire truck, one of the displays at the Aurora Regional Fire Museum. For David Lewis, the curator, the building holds an excitement that has been his passion for more than 30 years. . . [more]
Aurora Beacon News - May 13, 2004
Museum fired up about steam engine
On display in Aurora: 1907 apparatus
on loan from Chicago Fire Department
One hundred thirty-three years after Aurora sent 85 firefighters and a steam pumper engine to Chicago to battle the Great Fire, the Chicago Fire Department Wednesday shipped one of the last remaining steamers in the state to the Aurora Regional Fire Museum for display. . . [more]
Chicago Tribune, November 23, 2003
'Fire barn' hot property
Museum in Aurora is undergoing $1.5 million restoration
During his 31-year career, retired Aurora firefighter Glenn Zelensek spent part of five years living every third day at Aurora's former Central Fire Station
"It was a fire barn," he said, recalling how cold it could get in the second-story bunk room, which had no radiators, especially when some sleepers insisted the windows be kept open year-round at night.
But that's no longer the case after a painstaking rehabilitation of the 19th Century building, now home to the Aurora Regional Fire Museum.... [more]
Aurora Beacon News, November 5, 2002
Fire museum work finally complete
Nov. 25 party: Building will be showcased without exhibits
The people who have been most involved in the renovation of the Aurora Regional Fire Museum don't hide their excitement about finally reopening after years of delays and cost overruns.
The Nov. 25 party marking the end of the project is officially an opportunity to show off the remodeled two-story building and celebrate the 109th birthday of the former Central Fire Station. On the museum's Web site, however, the party is jokingly referred to as the "Yippee the Nightmare is Finally Over End of Construction Celebratory Bash.". . . [more]
Aurora Beacon News, June 21, 2002
Onion dome lands on fire museum
Proud day: Topper a big step toward restoring station to 1894 grandeur
No tears were shed as workers handled this onion Thursday. There were only smiling faces, as people flashed their pearly whites while they watched a new dome being placed on top of the Aurora Regional Fire Museum. . . . .[more]
Chicago Tribune, November 7, 2001
Delays beset Aurora fire museum
In recent months, water has damaged the Aurora Regional Fire Museum five times, further delaying completion of its renovation, a city official said. City spokesman Bill Catching blamed.... [more]
Aurora Beacon News, October 24, 2001
Fire museum rehab months behind
AURORA -- Renovation of the Aurora Regional Fire Museum, now months behind schedule, has been complicated further by at least four separate instances of water damage caused by storms or broken sprinklers.... [more]
Chicago Tribune, March 15, 2001
Fire Museum Work OK'd
Work to complete restoration of the former Central Fire Station in Aurora will start this construction season after the City Council Tuesday approved a
$755,000 contract to do the bulk of the work.... [more]
Aurora Beacon News, March 3, 2001
Ergency repairs orce fire museum upgrade over budget
AURORA -- The renovation of the Aurora Regional Fire Museum could finish as much as $200,000 over budget because of emergency structural repairs and project add-ons not anticipated in rehab plans.... [more
Old Press Releases
Release for August 15, 2012
"The Hottest place in town, is turning Hot-Pink -- National tour comes to Aurora"
On Saturday, August 25, the Aurora Regional Fire Museum, (often billed as the Hottest place in town), is turning Hot-Pink when three pink fire engines roll into town as part of the Guardian’s of the Ribbon - National Pink Heals Tour. . . . .
Click below for complete press release: http://p0.vresp.com/EbCVGo
Release for March 15, 2011
"Red-Hot toy painting up for auction to benefit Aurora Regional Fire Museum"
When local artist Lisa Gloria was asked to participate in the upcoming “Molded Heroes: Art Inspired by Toys” poster gallery show, she wasn't sure what childhood toy she would paint. Gloria, of Aurora, needed some inspiration. So when friend David Lewis from the Aurora Regional Fire Museum dumped out a bag of old toy fire engines, the bells went off, literally. . . .
Click below for complete press release: http://p0.vresp.com/lKWRBJ
Release for September 19, 2010
"Aurora Regional Fire Museum Opens New Exhibit and
Offers Free Admission on Smithsonian Magazine’s
6th Annual Museum Day"
On Saturday, September 25, 2010, the Aurora Regional Fire Museum will open their new exhibit “Museums Un-Crated” which features nineteen rare firefighting artifacts recently transferred from the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History to the collection of the Aurora Regional Fire Museum.
Click below for complete press release:
Release for March 3, 2010
"Fire Museum Gets 'HOT-STUFF' from the Smithsonian!"
The Aurora Regional Fire Museum recently acquired a collection of nineteen early firefighting items from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. “This was a rare opportunity to add some spectacular pieces to our collection which represent firefighting, and firefighters, in the nineteenth and early twentieth century” said David Lewis. . . .
Click below for complete press release: http://p0.vresp.com/AEAUbod the word doc
Release for July 28, 2009
Be Red Cross Ready (word document)
Release for June 20, 2004
A recent national survey revealed that only 7% of Americans have taken the recommended actions to prepare for disasters. If you're in the remaining 93%, the Aurora Regional Fire Museum and the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago urge you to get prepared by attending the free, thirty-minute program "Be Red Cross Ready!" . . . . [download the word doc
Great Midwestern Handtub Fire Engine Expo
On July 28, 1897, in the small town of Monmouth, Illinois, a hand-pumped fire engine shot a stream of water 182 ft, 6 inches &endash; thus winning the tournament, yet ending the era of handtub fire engine competitions in the State of Illinois - until now! [more]
Release for June 20, 2004
What's a Fire engine muster?
MUSTER, according to Webster, is to assemble or gather. For the past one hundred and fifty years, firemen have been engaged in the practice of gathering to compete for personal pride and for the sheer enjoyment of straining to prove that their company was the best of all assembled. . . . [more]
Release for June 17, 2002
The Onion is near!
On Thursday, June 20, after generations of absence and many years of hoping and dreaming, a newly replicated "onion-dome" will be hefted into place on top of the Aurora Regional Fire Museum's old Central Fire Station . . . [more]
State of Illinois - March, 2002
FY2003 Museum Operating Grant Awards
Aurora Regional Fire Museum - Aurora - $7,602
Not Just Horsing Around in the Hayloft - Funding will be used to purchase equipment for the Hayloft Theater; install internet cabling; assist with fees for speakers, performers, research presentations, and materials associated with the year long grand reopening program series.
State of Illinois - March 6, 2001
Governor Ryan Announces $4.8 Million in Museum Operating Grants
Governor George H. Ryan today awarded $4.8 million in grants to 85 museums to enhance their education programs and . . . [more]