Highest FDNY ladders could reach Triangle Shirtwaist Factory
There is just one fire escape in the building. That one is an interior fire escape, where the terrified unfortunates crowded before they began to make their mad leaps to death, the whole big front of the building is guiltless of one. Nor is there a fire escape in the back.
The building had experienced four recent fires and had been reported by the Fire Department to the Building Department as unsafe on account of the insufficiency of its exits.
Max Blank and Isaac Harris, Triangle Waist Company owners, were indicted on April 11th in the death of Margaret Schwartz. The trial began 8 months later and finished in 18 days. On December 27, 1911 the factory owners were acquitted of responsibility. Three years later, 23 individual suits were settled at a rate of $75 per death.
Safety Reforms <ul><li>Local 25 of the ILGWU organized a rally against the unsafe working conditions that led to the disaster. Meanwhile the Women's Trade Union League led a campaign to investigate such conditions among Triangle workers, to collect testimonies, and to promote an investigation. Within a month of the fire the governor of New York State appointed the Factory Investigating Commission. For five years, this commission conducted a series of statewide hearings that resulted in the passage of important factory safety legislation. </li></ul>