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1911-2011: The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

In the 1980s, I was working for a small business when smoke began filtering through the overhead vents. Someone dialed 9-1-1 as we worked to evacuate the building through the front and side entrances. The back entrance / loading dock was completely blocked. Our boss became angry when he heard the sirens and ordered everyone back into the building. No one moved; although two co-workers wanted to enter to retrieve their purses. We calmly waited outside as the firefighters secured the building. They briefly interviewed each of us and several mentioned that the back door was routinely blocked. This time, thankfully, no one was injured. Several years later, I learned from my 2nd Cousin, Sara, that her mother was 23 years old when the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire broke out at 4:40pm on March 25, 1911. An employee at the factory, she was not at work as the flu kept her at home that day. So many lives lost - 146 young immigrants (women and men) perished.

In 2011, we commemorated the 100th year anniversary of the Triangle Factory Fire. On Labor Day, we are reminded of the fire that led to the transformation of the New York State labor code and prompted the creation of new building, fire, and safety codes for the entire United States.


Wow, quite a story!!! Of course, I have known about the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire for many years, but never knew anyone who was related somehow. Cindy D. 11/5/2014

Cousin Sara frequently sent me magazine articles and newspaper clippings about quilting. She wrote the pictured note at the top of one of those articles. She talked about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory so we would not forget what happened.

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