Historic Survivor Dies

Rose Freedman, 107, the last survivor of the infamous 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Co. factory fire on New York’s Lower East Side — in which 146 garment workers were killed in a blaze that lasted half an hour — died in Beverly Hills on Friday after a brief illness. The tragedy in which she was involved in credited to this day for having spawned industrial safety reforms in America. Like Freedman, who had come to New York from Vienna, most of those involved in the Triangle fire were women and girls — mostly Jewish immigrants. Because of an utter lack of fire escapes, some died at their sewing machines. Locked doors trapped some victims, while others met their deaths after flinging themselves out the windows. “I always have tears in my eyes when I think about (what) happened,” Freedman said on a recent PBS program about the tragedy. A funeral for Freedman was held in suburban New York over the weekend, and a Los Angeles memorial service is planned for next month.

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