The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

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The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire On Saturday March 25, 1911 a tragic fire killed many people in an unsafe working environment. The people who were involved in this fire were Jewish women from Russia. This fire took place on the East Side of Manhattan in the Asch Building on Greenwich Village. By 1911, the Triangle Waist Company was one of the largest blouse makers in New York City. They specialized in making shirtwaists, the very popular women's blouse that had a tight waist and puffy sleeves. Approximately 500 people, mostly immigrant women, worked at the Triangle Waist Company's factory in the Asch Building. They worked long hours, six days a week, in cramped quarters and were paid low wages. Many of the workers were young, some only age 13 or 14. On Saturday, March 25, 1911, a fire started on the eighth floor. Work had ended at 4:30 that day and most of the workers were gathering their belongings and their paychecks when a cutter noticed a small fire had started in his scrap bin. No one is sure what exactly started the fire, but a fire marshal thought a cigarette butt had possibly gotten tossed into the bin. Nearly everything in the room was flammable, (hundreds of pounds of cotton scraps, tissue paper patterns, and wooden tables). Several workers threw pails of water on the fire, but it quickly grew out of control. Everyone rushed to escape the fire. Some ran to the four elevators. Built to carry a maximum of 15 people each, they quickly filled with 30. There wasn't time for many trips to the bottom and back up before the fire reached the elevator shafts as well. Others ran to the fire escape. Though about 20 reached the bottom successfully, about 25 others died when the fire escape collapsed. In total of the 500 employees, 146 were dead. One result of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire was that the New York governor appointed a commission to

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