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Transcript

On March 25, 1911, a fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, in the Asch Building on New York City‘s East Side, killed 146 young immigrant workers. The building, which was ten stories high, was overcrowded and filled with flammable material.

The fire started in a wastebasket on the eighth floor, and the flames jumped up onto the paper patterns that were hanging from the ceiling. Locked doors kept the workers from escaping.

Locked doors kept women from escaping and fire escapes collapsed. There were no fire alarms or sprinklers in the building.

Fire escape routes were blocked, doors were locked, and fire ladders could not reach the 10th floor. Today, fire inspections and regulations are mandatory to help prevent disasters like this.

Protests after the fire led New York State to revamp laws governing working conditions, increase the number of fire inspectors, and write new fire safety codes.