Triangle Waist Factory Fire In The Early 1900's

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In the early 1900’s worker’s did not have a lot of rights and as a result work had to work in unsafe environments, they worked long hours, and had to endure horrible work conditions. Two years before the fire the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU) Local 25 assisted more than 15,000 workers to achieve better wages and safer work conditions. Isaac Harris and Max Blanck, who owned the Triangle Shirt Waist factory in New York City refused to let their employees organize a union and actually ended up firing over 500 people for supporting a union although some that were there at the time of the fire were a part of the ILGWU. There were roughly 500 people working in the Triangle Waist Company and were mostly made of immigrant women. …show more content…

On March 25, 1911 at 4:45pm a fire started on the 8th floor. The fire doesn’t have an official cause but most speculate it was either a cigarette butt thrown in a waste basket or possibly an electrical short. The fire spread very quickly due to the paper and fabric that we piled in the factory. While some employees were trying to put the fire out with buckets of water other employees tried to make calls to the 9th and 10th floors. Attempts were made to use fire hoses that were located in the factory but when they went to turn the water on nothing came out. The ninth floor did not get the phone call and only realized something was wrong when they saw flames. The 10th floor on the other hand did receive the call in time and most workers were able to escape to the roof of the adjoining building including the owners, Isaac Harris and Max Blanck. 146 people died in the fire or succumbed to their injuries later on. The fire spread so fast that the fire started and was extinguished within 30 minutes. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire was the most deadly incident in New York City until the terrorist attack on September 11, …show more content…

The supervisors would lock the doors during the shift because they felt that it would stop theft and the doors on the work floor opened the wrong way, they swung in instead of out. Also, when they built the building they were given special permission to build only two stair cases in the building instead of 3 by using the fire escape at the 3rd staircase. When the fire broke out the two stair cases filled with smoke and were impassible. When the employees attempted to use the fire escape, it was so poorly made that it collapsed and sent 24 workers falling to the ground below. When the fire department arrived on the scene and tried to rescue those trapped, they extended their ladder and realized it only reached up to the 6th floor. The fire department’s hoses did not reach high enough either and were unable to put out the fire quickly on the 9th

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