Our History

In March of 1991, my family opened a small 300 square foot shop called New York Firefighter’s Friend. It offered a varied selection of “Firematic” products to the members of the New York Fire Department that came to its Medical Center a few doors away on Lafayette Street. But it soon became apparent that in addition to the interest of "New York's Bravest” other firefighters from around the globe, firefighter family members, “Buffs”, locals and tourists also had an interest in all things Fire. The store, which had quickly became a favorite destination for people visiting the city, became known simply as the “Fire Store”.

Over the next 10 years the store doubled in size and broadened it’s range of products. The shop was featured in newspapers, magazines, and on television. In short, the still small store had become an NYC Institution.

Though not necessarily directly connected Fire-fashions began to be seen on the streets, on TV shows, on recording stars, and were echoed in subsequent lines of work-style fashion produced by some of the world's top designers.

However our greatest enjoyment came from having groups of firefighters from different cities and different countries meeting in the shop, exchanging stories, exchanging patches, and sometimes even the shirts off their backs.

In 1997 my wife and I opened New York 911 right next door to the Firestore. Long overdue, this shop paid tribute to members of the NYPD, New York’s Finest.

The tragic events of September 11th, 2001 changed everything, even beyond the painful loss of friends, and faces known for a decade. The mood of the stores transitioned from a light, upbeat, atmosphere of celebration, to one of somber tribute. People lined up at the door because they were hurt and grieving, desperate to share their sorrow with others feeling the same loss and vulnerability. They needed to pull on a shirt or cap that showed our Heroes they were loved. We grieved with them for all our lost friends, family and innocence.

In the months that followed, we had the honor of meeting thousands of incredible people from all over the world that traveled to New York to help with the rescue, recovery, and finally to attend the hundreds of memorials and funerals. As a thank you, we gave all members of service, Fire, Police, EMS, FEMA, Red Cross, and a wide variety of federal agencies, 25% off their purchases in our shop. In addition, through their (and many of your) purchases at the Firestore, and New York 911, we were able to donate over a quarter of a million dollars to various causes that directly benefited our members of service and their families.

While no one will ever forget the devastating events, nor the tragic losses of 9/11, the atmosphere in the stores are nearly back to normal. People are smiling again, not gazing off into the distance. People are laughing again, not breaking down in tears. Recently in our shop, a group of firefighters from Austin, Texas met a group of firefighters from Paris, France. After exchanging some small talk, they all left together to eat at a local restaurant. These kinds of encounters are what make the Firestore special.

In hopes of keeping the stores viable, in March 2006, 15 years after we first opened our doors, we relocated the shops. Our new space at 17 Greenwich Avenue is in the heart of historic Greenwich Village. The new, larger, more comfortable space will give us the opportunity to bring in new products, and display them in an inviting environment. Now both our fire and police product are available in one space With any luck, we will have police officers and firefighters exchanging patches and stories for another 15 years.

We hope to see you in our shop soon.
Noam & Annie Freedman

Our current location 17 Greenwich Avenue

Our Old Stores on Lafayette Street just prior to the move to our current location.

Our Old Stores on Lafayette Street just prior to the move to our current location.