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Four-alarm opening

CIVIC CENTER -- After years on the drawing board and months of careful

planning -- not to mention a lot of elbow grease -- the city’s Police and

Fire Museum opened its doors Tuesday to more than 100 invited guests.

“Without the community’s involvement, this museum wouldn’t be here

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today,” Burbank Mayor Stacey Murphy said in a speech dedicating the

$200,000 facility. “This museum will be a great treasure for the

community.”

Located adjacent to the main lobby of the Police and Fire

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Headquarters, the museum features interactive displays and memorabilia

highlighting the history of the two departments.

At Tuesday’s ceremony, Fire Chief Michael Davis and Police Chief David

Newsham, said the museum will start a tradition of preserving the future

as well.

Newsham said the museum was built to “enlighten the members of the

community -- young and old -- to the history of the Burbank Police and

Fire departments.

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“By understanding our history and the present, they can think about

the future and maybe some of the will decide to come work for our

departments,” Newsham said.

Davis said he was most proud of Firefighter Terry Mencuri who worked

long hours to help complete the museum.

One of Mencuri’s projects was putting together a memorial for John

Saltisik, the only Burbank firefighter to die in the line of duty.

Saltisik was killed when he was thrown from his engine as it responded to

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a call in November 1961.

Mencuri contacted Saltisik’s family to invite them to the opening.

“It was very unexpected and I appreciate it very much,” said Mary

Molmar, Saltisik’s sister. “The memorial with his picture was done very

uniquely.”

During the ceremony, the city honored the many contributors to the

museum and both department’s current and past employees.

Afterward, attendees toured the facility snapping pictures and looking

over the displays.

Herb Hinthorne, 81, who retired from the fire department in 1974,

donated pictures and Burbank Daily Review articles his wife had clipped

through the years to the museum.

“It’s more than I ever expected to see,” Hinthorne said.

The museum’s upkeep will be funded by the Friends of the Burbank

Police-Fire Museum, said J.P. O’Connor, the organizations president.

In July, the project was $75,000 short, but Mike Kubasak, who chaired

the fund-raising committee, said organizers have raised $256,000 for the

museum.

“That effort reflects the pride we all have in our police and fire

service,” he said.

THE MUSEUM

WHAT: Burbank Police and Fire Museum

WHERE: Police and Fire Headquarters, 200 N. Third St.

WHEN: Open 1O a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and by appointment.

COST: Free.

DONATIONS: Friends of the Museum memberships range from $10 to $100.

PHONE: For information, call 238-3175.


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