[black spacer] Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

On March 25, 1911, a fire broke out in the Triangle Shirtwaist Company on the eighth floor of the Asch Building in the heart of New York City's garment district. It began in the cutting room and quickly spread throughout the factory. Locked doors and inadequate fire exits trapped workers inside, and the building's sole fire escape collapsed. In all, 146 employees died, most of them young Jewish and Italian immigrant women, who either jumped to their deaths or perished in the flames.

The fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory became a national symbol of business neglect and abuse. Although hazardous working conditions in the garment industry had been the focus of numerous investigations, labor strikes, and public demonstrations throughout the late 19th century, it took the fire to galvanize public resolve for workplace regulation and ongoing vigilance.


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