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Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Frances PerkinsFrances Perkins
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Part:         Session:         Page of 444

which was on two floors, but the building was not the Triangle Building.

The fire broke out in the Triangle factory and the loss of life was wholly confined to this one factory where the hazard curiously, as it was looked over afterwards, was no greater than the hazard in hundreds of other factories in New York. It merely was that the accident occurred there. I suppose the cause of the fire has never been completely assessed, although I believe the coroner's jury returned a finding that it was fire caused by a cigarette igniting inflammable material. Smoking in the factory was permitted. In those days women did not smoke and the girls in the factory were not smoking, but there were a good many men working there as cutters, machine fixers, so forth, and a number of men had been smoking. The conclusion reached by those who inquired was that it must have been a cigarette. It may have been something else for all we know, but it was decided that it must have been a cigarette igniting inflammable material. The patterns from which the shirtwaists were cut were on tissue paper and were hanging up in bunches - pattern # 21, pattern #25, pattern #82, all in bunches - hung up above these benches, near the windows. That was a natural place to put them - on the bare wall between the windows.

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