Thomas Wirth, a collector of first editions and literary memorabilia by and about African Americans, founded THE FIRE!! PRESS in collaboration with Richard Bruce Nugent in 1982. Nugent, who died in 1987, was the last survivor of the group which created FIRE!!. His personal copy of FIRE!! was used to make the plates from which the reproduction was printed.
In 1993 THE FIRE!! PRESS expanded its offerings to include SONGS FOR MY SISTERS by Abba Elethea. Elethea, a friend of Nugent's later years, was a member of the UMBRA Group of African-American writers, who were active on New York's Lower East Side in the late 1960's. Other members of the UMBRA Group included Ishmael Reed, Calvin Hernton, and Tom Dent.
The latest publication of THE FIRE!! PRESS is ONE MORE TIME (2006), an informal historiography of the Harlem Renaissance by the renowned scholar and cultural historian Richard A. Long.
Prior to his death in October of 2014, Tom Wirth selected historian Kevin McGruder to assume ownership and administration of The Fire!! Press.