The Houston Fire Museum inside the 1899 Fire Station Number 7

A remnant of the Al Quaeda attack on New York's Twin Towers on 9/11 is just a small part of what's displayed in Houston's Fire Museum.

"This is part of the actual beams from that building. This was a tragic day in the United States of America, a tragic day for firefighters and law enforcement officers that lost their lives. It's kind of special to have an artifact such as this inside your facilities," says J.R. "Rick" Flanagan with the Houston Fire Museum Foundation.

Located in the Midtown District in Fire Station #7, it was built during the 1890s, and taken out of service in 1968. Here, the history of Houston's Fire Department is documented and put on display.

"This very station where we are right now is 120 plus years of age. And at that time, this station is where we housed the horses and the carriages that responded at that time," Flanagan says.

The museum contains interactive exhibits highlighting the changes in firefighting technology. The collection has both older and modern firefighter uniforms and equipment. Displays recall historic fires with images from local and national emergencies as well as pictures of the city's past fire chiefs.

In addition to delving into the past, this museum educates its younger visitors on fire safety and prevention.

"We have all of their equipment here. They come in with the different sizes. They'll take photos with their equipment and gear on. And, they love getting inside the fire truck. This is an original front chassis of one of the fire trucks," Flanagan says.

But the exhibit takes a serious and painful turn with a display of those who died in the line of duty.

"And we have every member that has lost their life, fighting fires in the line of duty for the Houston Fire Department," Flanagan says. "They're here and archived in our history. Those are the days that we don't want to forget. Those are the men and women that have laid their life on the line for us to do and be and be a part of this history as we are today."

Renovations, and upgrades are included in the planned expansion of The Houston Fire Museum, schedule to begin early next year.