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FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT ANSON SMITH AT 203-332-5229

 MARCH 25 IS 101ST ANNIVERSARY OF TRIANGLE SHIRTWAIST FIRE

HCC Professor Can Discuss
Beacon Falls resident

March 25, 1911, was one of the darkest days in American Labor History. On that day, 146 people, mostly women and children, perished in the notorious Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in New York City. The horror of their deaths led to numerous changes in occupational safety standards that currently address the safety of workers today.  The Triangle factory was located on the top three floors of the 10-story Asch Building in downtown Manhattan. There were 600 workers at the factory when a fire broke out in a rag bin on the eighth floor. The only safety measures available for the workers were 27 buckets of water and a fire escape that would collapse when people tried to use it. Most of the doors were locked and those that weren’t opened inward, effectively locking in people attempting to escape. Water streams from fire hoses could only reach the 7th floor. Their ladders could only reach between the 6th and 7th floor. 19 bodies were found charred against the locked doors. 25 bodies were found huddled in a cloakroom. Many people jumped from the building to their death in an attempt to escape from the heat, smoke and flames. HCC Social Science Professor Janet Lanci, who incorporates units on this tragedy  in three of her courses, is available to discuss the fire itself, what it meant for the labor movement and workplace safety, and, perhaps most important, whether it could happen today. She can be reached at (o) 203-332 8548.

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Anson C. Smith, Public Relations Coordinator
Housatonic Community College
900 Lafayette Blvd.
Bridgeport, CT 06604
Tel: 203-332-5229, Fax: 203-332-5247
E-mail: asmith@hcc.commnet.edu