People worked in overcrowded rooms with little ventilation.
On the afternoon of March 25, a fire began on the eighth floor, possibly sparked by a lit match or a cigarette or because of faulty electrical wiring.
The 8 th floor was completely destroyed. There were no fire escapes and some exits were blocked. Fire ladders and rescue workers could not reach the trapped workers. Many jumped to their death rather than face the flames and intense heat of the fire.
Living conditions in New York were no better than the working conditions. In fact they might have been worse, and some people even used their apartments as a factory.
This is one of the nicer tenement apartments Ive seen. Notice however that it is small, consisting of only one room, and that there are no windows. Lack of ventilation made for unhealthy living and very hot summers! The temperature could rise to well over 100 degrees!
This is a more typical scene in a New York City tenement.
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