THE TRIANGLE FIRE by Leon Stein

THE TRIANGLE FIRE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This brief, deeply felt history of the terrible Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in the Greenwich Village, New York, of 1911, is more than a reminder of the abuses to labor in the past. With such fires on a smaller scale still causing deaths in the crowded cities of the U.S. today, it is a plea to continue the reforms begun in fire and labor laws 50 years ago. On March 25, 1911, 625 employees of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company were finishing the day's work on the top three stories of a building in the garment area near Broadway. The building had no sprinklers, the exit doors were padlocked to prevent theft, and the Fire Department of the time had no ladders sufficiently long to reach those upper windows. Fire--then panic--broke out. A huge crowd gathered to watch as bodies plummeted from windows, crashed blazing through skylights below. Within 10 minutes or so 146 people were dead. How the bodies were identified, how the trial of the company owners dragged out for months, and how new laws slowly were put into effect, make a fascinating conclusion to this vivid recreation of the tragedy that has become a symbol. An important document for American city dwellers today.

ISBN: 0801477077
Publisher: Lippincott