Near closing time on Saturday afternoon, March 25, 1911, a fire broke out on the top floors of the Asch Building in the Triangle Waist Company. Within minutes
charging them with manslaughter in the second degree under section 80 of the Labor Code, which mandated that doors should not be locked during working hours. On December 27, twenty-three days after the trial had started, a jury acquitted Blanck and Harris of any wrongdoing.
Twenty-three individual civil suits were brought against the owners of the Asch building. On March 11, 1914, three years after the fire, Harris and Blanck settled. They paid 75 dollars per life lost.