At least eight fire wagons responded to the blaze. When they arrived the building was already engulfed in flames. Several dozen bodies of women who had jumped to their deaths lay on Greene Street. As the fire ladders could not reach beyond the sixth floor, workers continued to jump, tearing the nets that the firemen had put in place. A crowd estimated at 10,000 watched in horror. More than 50 New York University law students in a lecture class on the 10th floor of the adjacent American Book Building ran a ladder to the Triangle building's roof. Seventy of seventy-one workers who were still on the 10th floor were successfully evacuated. Most of the workers who perished were on the ninth floor where an exploding oil barrel blocked their exit.
Of the 146 workers who died, 56 were burned beyond recognition. Seven were never positively identified.
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