By the time the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, tensions were high.
2 years earlier women from the garment industry, organized and called a general strike. Led by Clara Lemlich, 20,000 workers(most of which were women and immigrants) from the garment industry striked for 12 weeks until the factory owners finally accepted the Local 25's(and other unions) demands. This caused resentment with the workers and the owners.
Also a couple month ago the Newark fire killed 23 people
Worst of all at most shops, employers had broken their agreement with Local 25 and blacklisted Clara Lemlich
But what the workers really feared was the threat of fire. But to people in working at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, the fear seemed unresonable. After all the factory was equipped with the most modern safety technology. The factory was a fireproof, modern skyscraper, each stair had a standpipe which were a large, upright pipe connected to a 5,500- gallon water tank on the roof(practically a fire hose), had water buckets placed at key points, and a fire alarm in every hallway to inform the fire station.
Buy on 3/25/1911 at 4:40 P.M.,5 minutes before workday is over, a fire starts in the factory. At first they hurl water buckets at it. When that didn't work they used the standpipe to hose it down. But the hose was not been connected to the standpipe and the fire
Out of the 500 people that signed in for work in that day, 146 died. Most died by jumping out the window,burning to death, or some other ways.