March 25, 1911. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory was nearly ready to end work for the day. The Triangle Waist Company factory occupied the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors of the 10-story Asch Building on the northwest corner of Greene Street and Washington Place, in Manhattan.
That afternoon, the atmosphere was placid: it was Saturday, a short workday of just seven hours, and spring was in the air. At 4:45 p.m., a shout of “Fire!” caused a ripple of excitement among the Triangle workers, and they hastily pushed their chairs back from the long wooden tables where they worked, and mechanically headed toward the Greene Street doors.