Ponce, commonly known as La Ciudad Señorial (The Manorial City) or La Perla del Sur (Pearl Of The South) is the second most important city in Puerto Rico, after San Juan.
The town of Ponce is rich in culture, colonial architecture, and history; and those three things are what you will find at Parque De Bombas de Ponce (Ponce’s Old Fire Station).
I lived in Ponce for three years while attending law school, and now I guide historical tours in this beautiful city.
In this article, I will cover everything that you need to know about Parque De Bombas in Ponce, Puerto Rico:
Parque De Bombas (Old Fire Station) is a former Firehouse that houses a museum honoring Ponce’s firefighters’ bravery and legacy.
Spanish Army Lieutenant Colonel Maxino Mena designed the wooden structure for the 1882 Exhibition Trade Fair.
In 1885 the city made the building Ponce’s Official Firehouse.
The place served as a Fire Station for over a hundred years.
After closing Parque de Bombas in 1990, the city turned the building into a museum.
Parque de Bombas is one of the most emblematic structures in Ponce, if not in all of Puerto Rico.
They painted the building with bright red and jet-black lines, the official colors of the town of Ponce.
This is one of the top Things To Do In Ponce.
Parque de Bombas is a small museum with an extensive history.
During your visit to Parque de Bombas, you will experience the evolution of firefighting in Puerto Rico.
They divided the Museum into two floors.
You will find horse-pulled vehicles and a vintage fire engine on the first floor.
The second floor has firefighting utensils and paintings of former firefighters.
The only access to the second floor is using stairs.
Of the many paintings in the Museum, one tells the story of the firefighting heroes of Ponce.
Allow me to tell you the story of Los Heroes del Polvorin (The Heroes Of The Gunpowder Warehouse)
Around Nine PM on January 25, 1899, a spark set on fire the hay of the stables in the United States Army gunpowder and ammunition warehouse, putting the whole city in great danger.
Firefighters from Parque de Bombas rushed to the site, but army officials told them that trying to extinguish the fire was too risky. The army officials ordered the Ponce firefighters to head back and evacuate the city.
Seven firefighters and a civilian disobeyed the Army’s direct order and extinguished the fire risking their lives.
The eight men faced a court-martial, but the Army dismissed the charges.
The city named those eight men “Heroes of Ponce” and built houses for them on January 25 street.
The red and black houses are still standing after a hundred as a testimony of these men’s bravery.
Ponce’s Old Fire Station is in Las Delicias Plaza (Ponce’s Town Square), directly behind Ponce’s Our Lady Of Guadalupe Cathedral.
Local Tip: Ponce’s heat is legendary; it goes over a hundred degrees daily. Use sunblock and drink plenty of water.
Once you have seen the Parque de Bombas, you can cross the street and have Ice Cream at Los Chinos King’s Cream. That is the best way to beat Ponce’s heat.
Yes, Parque de Bombas is worth visiting. You can take pictures and learn about history; your children or inner child will love the antique fire engines.
The Parque de Bombas is a Municipal Museum, and the entrance is free of charge. Parking space is available around Las Delicias Town Square.
If you are visiting Ponce, you should stop at Parque de Bombas.
Ponce’s Old Fire Station is a museum honoring the legacy of the brave firefighters from the past and present who risk their lives daily to keep us safe.
You may also like our article 25 Best Things To Do In Ponce.
Writer at PuertoRico.com. I was born in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. I’m passionate about Puerto Rican history and culture. I live on the west coast of Puerto Rico, and host an Airbnb for tourists. I also coordinate tours and concierge services for tourists. I authored “Eat Like A Local, Puerto Rico”, and have contributed to blogs and magazines with articles about discovering and enjoying what Puerto Rico has to offer.About the author