We need 320 more shirts by the end of this hour!
NO, There's too many, STAIRS!!
THE DOORS ARE LOCKED!!
On March 25th, 1911, Workers on the ninth floor of the Asch Building were working the same exhausted hours that never got old, making blouses and working horrible conditions to an approximate total of fifty-two hours a week.
OMG!!! DON'T JUMP!!!
Later around 4:30 pm, right when everyone was getting ready to leave, a fire occurred on the ninth floor. Flames shot up, igniting the line of hanging paper patterns and destroying furniture. People didn't know what had exactly started the fire. Most likely, a cutter flicked hot ash or tossed a live cigarette.
Women on the ninth floor were trapped behind the door, locked, suffocating and igniting on fire. It wasn't unusual, as employes often locked doors to discourage latecomers and keep out union organizers. They were doomed and really had no choice of survival. Meanwhile, workers on the eighth floor ran furiously for the two passenger elevators.
Memory of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factroy
In less than two minutes, the firefighters had arrived. Firefighters held up life nets, sturdy ten-foot square nets made of rope. It was useless. A person falling from the ninth floor struck with a force equal to eleven pounds and fell right through, while others bounced off the net. The aerial ladders failed, too, reaching only the sixth floor. Useless. Women jumped as others also tried to grab hold of a rung on the way down, but missed the landing.
They're on FIRE!
By 5:15 p.m., exactly thirty-five minutes after flames burst from beneath a cutting table, firefighters had brought the blaze under control. Of the 500 Triangle employes who reported for work that day, 146 were found dead. Yet, those who jumped knew that if they jumped, their families would have a body to identify, but if they stayed in the room to burn, there would be nothing left.
From the loss of lives, of these, sixteen men were identified. The rests were women or bodies and body parts listed as "undefined" from how burned some were. The Triangle Fire was New York's worst workplace disaster up to that time. These women had horrible working conditions and always worked at a further extent of hours.