S: Factory Fire - Null
BC: All photos and information from http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/trianglefire
FC: Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
1: Why did so many jump to their deaths? | It killed 146 people, but why did so many die?
2: After the fire, hundreds of families were forced to try and identify the bodies of their children, sisters, brothers, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. Even friends tried to help. Many of the bodies were burned so bad, it was near impossible to identify them and the coroner was forced to use teeth and such to figure it out. | One girl in particular, jumped from the window and her dress caught on a wire. The crowd watched helplessly until the fire had burned across and destroyed her dress. She, like so many others, fell to the ground, completely burned and partially nude.
3: The streets were littered with dead bodies and as several men tried to catch the jumpers with nets, they were struck down by the falling people.
4: The fire did indescribable damage inside. As pictured here, the tenth floor (above) and the ninth floor (below) were filled with soot and smoke. The peoples' first thought was to check the doors, only to find that they were locked. They then tried the elevator, and when it stopped going up and down, climbed down the shaft, only to have it snap and drop them all to death.
5: While firefighters fought with the flames, people leaped from the windows, hoping to be caught by nets below, though most just hurled their bodies down to smack the pavement. | It was later discovered that many were not choosing to risk jumping, but were pushed by others, frantically searching for an escape. A group of five girls was seen to stand out on the ledge, glance down, and then hold onto each other as they fell nine stories down. All died on impact. Two other girls stood on the ledge and struggled to hold their ground. The older of the two clasped the younger girl to her side and tried to hold her, but the girl wriggled away and leaped. The older girl stood there, seemingly shocked, before being singed by fire and finally jumping herself.
6: Cecilia Walker, a 20 year old young woman, was on the 8th floor when the fire started. When the elevator didn't arrive, she began to slide down the cable. She called out to a friend of hers, but her friend had run to the window and disappeared. Cecilia was unconscious when she reached the 6th floor on the cable. | One man, Samuel Levine, worked as a machine operator on the 9th floor. When he heard shouts of "Fire!" he ran to the elevator but it was already full and did not return for another trip. 3 girls ran screaming past him, their clothes on fire. He tried to dump water on them but they ran to the window and were gone. He finally opened the elevator doors and climbed down the cable, but girls' bodies began to fall on him. Finally, firemen were able to cut through the elevator and rescue him and several others.
7: Could this have been avoided? Easily. For starters, the owners had no right to lock those workers in the building. Another problem was that the building clearly wasn't up to "code." There was one little fire escape ladder and it collapsed and fell itself fairly fast. Possibly the saddest fact is that the workers were a mere 5 or 10 minutes from leaving. Many of the employees had their coats, bags, and hats and were ready to leave when the fire started. Had the fire started a few minutes later, casualties most likely would have been few to none.