Binghamton Clothing Fire Remembered
3/21/2013 (Updated 10:50:24 PM)It happened a century ago, and brought with it not only a tragic loss of life, but also reforms in fire safety regulations for public buildings.
"And there were people out in the street, and they were looking up, yelling
...out, jump, jump," said Greta Wingate, retired BCC professor.
Greta Wingate, retired Broome Community College history professor, spoke to the Democratic Women of Broome County Thursday evening. The topic was the Binghamton Clothing Company fire of 1913.
Actual pieces of clothing made at the factory were passed around to the audience--as well as remnants from the Triangle Shirtwaist fire in New York City which occurred two years earlier. The toll for the triangle fire--146 dead. The toll was less in Binghamton, but it was just as horrible.
"It was devastating and this fire, which lost 31 people to fire, and the Triangle fire, caused changes in state laws as far as fire escapes, enclosed staircases, and better safety conditions altogether," said Winget.
The professor says safety nets were deployed, but did not break the falls of the victims, who were mostly women.
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