Building Department Takes Steps Against New Shop of Triangle Waist Co.

They Found Too Many Machines in the Shop — Too Few Fire Escapes — And The Building Is Not Fireproof

Published March 15, 2011.
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Originally published in the Forverts, April 1, 1911

Another Two Burned Victims Are Identified

The Building Department became aware yesterday that the “Triangle” factory bosses have opened a new shop at 5-9 University Place, which is just as dangerous as their prior factory. The structure it’s located in is six floors high and is not fireproof. The “Triangle” shop will be on the top floor and the bosses have set so many machines up there that in case of an accident it would be impossible for the workers to access the fire escapes. The elevators there are also poor. The building has one passenger elevator which is extremely slow. The stairs are dark and narrow.

The Building Department has filed complaints against the landlord and will likely compel him to make improvements.

The March grand jury of general sessions court has requested to remain on further duty and to begin investigating the disaster into the “Triangle” factory. Judge O’Sullivan thanked the jury profusely and asked them to immerse themselves in their task immediately. He told them that both the District Attorney and the court seek to do everything in their power to assist the grand jury in determining responsibility for the frightful calamity.

Yesterday, relatives identified two additional bodies in the morgue. Jennie Levine of 276 Delancey Street was identified by her brother of Newark, N.J. Until yesterday he didn’t know that his sister was among the victims, as she had just started working at the factory the day before the tragic fire.

The second to be identified was Emma Rothstein of 536 Fifth Street, who was identified by a cousin named Kitsl Harlik.

The Fire Marshal’s investigation ended yesterday inconclusively. Below is his last statement:

“Various admissions point to the fact that it seems the fire started either from a match or a cigarette. The horrible toll in human lives was most likely due to the considerable confusion, the restricted space of the shop and the large amount of rags covering the floors.”

Tomorrow at 3pm there will be a mass gathering at the Metropolitan Opera House to discuss the great tragedy and how to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

Fifty prominent men have called for this event specifically to agitate and organize a strong ground swell against these types of fire traps.

Jacob Schiff will be Chairman of the meeting.


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