Fire Department records prior to 1900 are incomplete. Some information can be gleaned from newspaper articles.
The first Fire Department facility was built in 1887 at the intersection of (what was then) Stevens and West Main Streets. That building was constructed as a City Hall (housing for a period city offices, the fire and police departments, and the city jail). It was turned over to the Fire Department for its sole use in 1912 when a new City Hall was completed.
The first Missoula Fire Department Fireman's Ball, put on by the department's volunteers, was held in 1889. Volunteers served until 1911, when a fully-paid department was established.