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Fire Accident on Triangle Shirtwaist Factory

  • Updated July 27, 2023
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Triangle shirtwaist Factory Fire was the most deadliest disaster which took place in the in Greenwich Village neighborhood, New York. There were hundreds of workers who were burned in this tragedy which included men, women and mainly girls which were from the age 15-21 years and were foreigners.This factory was owned by Max Blanck and Isaac Harris, their factory was located in the top three floors of the Asch building. This tragedy got over in half an hour but was considered as the worst Fire accident taken place.

At 4:30 P.M on a Saturday, March 25th 1911 the fire started, the cause of the fire was never known but they had many assumptions that either it was caused by a cigarette or a match, some others told that it was by a short circuit or loose electrical wiring and occurrence of flammable objects in the factory such as cotton, wooden cloth tended to increase the fire immediately.

There were 146 garment workers, 123 women and girls and 23 men. By this Factory Fire, workers were not only burned to death but also went through many consequences when they tried to escape from the fire suffocated due to smoke, since there was only one elevator which worked properly many of the girls tried to escape through it but as a result it got crowded and a breakdown occur ed, some who tried to jump from the 9th floor were crushed by the glass on the sidewalk, many of them tried to open the locked door but ended up dying due to the flames, some were injured but died in a short period of time, the only safety for them was seven buckets of water but was nothing compared to flames rising.

The ladders brought by the firemen was able to extend only till the seventh floor. Even the workers in the 10th floor escaped to the next building by previously getting a call from the workers in the 8th floor, even most of the 8th floor workers escaped by the Greene Street stairway to the roof. The ladders brought by the firemen were able to extend only till the seventh floor. It was workers in the 9th floor who suffered the most, the irony is that they had many ways to escape but nothing was possible.

Only at 5:oop.m the firemen were able to have control over the fire but when they went into the building all were mostly dead at that time. All workers here were Jewish and Italian immigrants who knew only a little amount of english hoping to get a better job and give a living for their family.This fire brought a widespread rage, provided many measures and definitely brought a responsibility after the losses of lives.

The owners Blanc and Harris were held responsible for this tragedy to occur, lack of precautions even when they were informed before led to theb cost of lives, they were previously accused for the first and second manslaughter on December 4th, 1911 and caused a law violation by locking the exitn doors of the 9th floor and trying to defend themselves, Harris paid a fine of 25$ for locking the door and both of them paid 75$ per deceased family who brought a suit against them.I believe they must have ended up in jail rather thanm letting them free.Later they were also caught for sewing fraudelent labels into their shirtwaists. The buliding was fire proof and looked as nothing happened at all the next day after the disastrous night but Blanc and Harris had a pay a large amount of money for the damage caused.

The next few days a public mourning was conducted. On April 15th 1911,150,000 people joined the group and general strikes were taking place, they conducted a silent mourn which consisted of sympathetic members and they were holding boards with signs which said ”We Demand Fire Protection” and “We Mourn Our Loss”, this took place for four hours as even though it was silent it was considered as a powerful which made others take action. I argue that these mourns are very important as they could actually bring out the political and economic issues and see towards that they bring protection for the family of the workers who have suffered after the fire

At Henry Morgenthau’s urging, the state of New York enrolled a Factory Investigating Commission led by Robert F. Wagner and Alfred E. Smith; its secretary was Frances Perkins and it was assisted by investigators from the ILGWU, for the fire safety they installed fire drills, opening exit doors and thorough building investigations. The garment workers created an International Ladies Garmnent Workers Union(ILGWU) on June 3rd in the perios 1909 to early 1910 as this included both male and female workers.

This organisation was formed to improve the working conditions of the Factory, there were upto 20,000 workers and promised to never leave the group but were afraid that they would get any harm or would get fired. Clara Lemlich who was 19 years, came forward to speak up and called a strike.Thi was the most powerful and successful organisationn held. The Triangle Fire Coalition is an alliance of more than 200 organizations and formed in 2008 to encourage nationwide activities commemorating the tragedy of fire and to create a permanent public art memorial to honor it’s victims.

As I conclude by saying that the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire is an devastating incident which has been remembered by everyone and brought a shocking responsibility to the people of New York. Even though the factory was damaged, the owners built it better than before with more safety regulations to prevent the women and men from getting harm. In a way, this made them realize that small mistakes such as locking the door led to huge consequences but developed the Factory in a better way by including health sanitations and safety against the Fire.

References

Cite this paper

Fire Accident on Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. (2020, Dec 15). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/fire-accident-on-triangle-shirtwaist-factory/

FAQ

FAQ

How many people died as a result of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire?
146 people died as a result of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire on March 25, 1911. It is considered one of the deadliest industrial disasters in American history.
What caused the fire that broke out at the Triangle factory?
The fire was caused by a spark from a cigarette that landed on some fabric.
Who was responsible for the Triangle Shirtwaist fire?
The fire was started by a cigarette that was not properly extinguished. The owners of the factory, Isaac Harris and Max Blanck, were responsible for the fire.
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