The Asch building on the northwest corner of Washington Place and Greene Street was one of the new “fire proof” buildings in New York. The Triangle Shirtwaist factory occupied the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors. Despite its modernity the building had serious fire safety issues: fire escapes were limited and flammable cotton was everywhere. The blaze that erupted on March 25, 1911, claimed the lives of 146 workers, most of them women, who either succumbed to the fire or jumped to their deaths. These workers found themselves trapped on locked floors that quickly became engulfed in flames after a bin of scraps, under a table, caught on fire. With no alarms and no orderly way to leave the building, Triangle became a death trap for the workers. The owners and managers escaped unharmed.
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