On this day in 1911, it was a Saturday in New York. At a building downtown a group of immigrant girls were busy at work at their sewing machines. There were no clocks in the room – “clock watching” slowed production. But whisper of mouth said it was just a half hour to closing and, thus, the weekend…..(Sunday was a day off, after all).
Suddenly at the end of the room, a spark ignited the stacks of fabric and boxes. In an instant the clutter was an inferno. Nearly 800 people were in the building, and, amid screams and scrambling, they clawed, crawled and climbed down toward safety. Under the weight of scores of people, the fire escape collapsed. Unfortunately, 147 of the young ladies who worked for the Triangle Shirtwaist Company died in the blaze.
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