Shattered: The Triangle shirtwaist factory

June 18, 2011
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It was March 25th, 1911. That was a day I will never forget, that day… my whole life was shattered.

“Beautiful….wake up its 6:30, you have to be to work at eight this morning…”my husband Jarrad said. “But honey-b, can’t we sleep just a little longer?” I whined. for some reason I wasn’t excited to go to work at all. I wanted to sleep in and hold him close to me. “Skyeler, you know I wouldn’t rather do anything else, but we have to go…you’ll see me later at dinner, ok?” “Fine”, I groaned. I got up kissed him on the cheek; he smiled a smile I will never forget. I went to take a shower and got dressed then left for work after telling him “I love you.”

Soon I was on my way to The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, thinking of how I was going to tell my husband I was ready for our first child. That made me smile and tingle all over. I looked up at the sky as I was waiting for the light to turn green at a stop light. I noticed it looked very dreary all of a sudden. Which instantly made me worry, but I never thought it would be something so dreadful.

As I was walking up to the factory door I saw my best friend Joline. She was stationed right next me. Once we got inside, we walked and talked to the elevator and went to the 9th floor. We clocked in and started working. At 11:30am I got up to use the restroom. Then at 12:45 Jo-jo and I went to lunch, and we talked about our double date we had planned for this evening and what I wanted to say to Jarrad later.

Not long after that we returned to work at 1:15pm then I used the restroom again at 2:36pm and continued work again.

Then, to my surprise 4:45pm came quicker than I had thought. When I was finishing up and getting ready to leave…… I suddenly heard a loud horrifying scream “OH MY GOD!!! It’s a fire!!!” I quickly ran for the double doors that everyone was crowded in front of. As I quickly searched for another way out I see a couple of girls run for a fire escape. I try to find Joline, but there wasn’t much time before the red hot flames would consume the whole room. So I prayed to god that Joline would be safe and followed the other girls down the fire escape and looked back behind me and saw Joline coming down not too far behind.

As soon as my feet touched the ground the fire escape came tumbling down with Joline still on it. I screamed in horror for her life. I got sick as the tears ran down my face. I hear cries of horror as people watch loved ones from down below jump from the 8TH, 9th, and 10TH floor windows of the building. (THUD! THUD! THUD!) I fell to my knees, covered my face, and sobbed. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

When I looked up again a seconded time I saw movement where the fire escape had fallen and ran to see if it was Joline. As I ran some firemen came running up behind me and two held me back. I leaned over their arms in tears and looked at all the mangled bodies and saw Joliene’s arm struggling to get from under the dead women on top of her. The firemen gently helped her from under the bodies and called for an ambulance, as the carried her to safety. I followed behind and I hear someone calling my name. It was my wonderful Jarrad. I ran to him and jumped into his arms. He began to sob and he whispered “I should have stayed home with you.” and I replied “I’m happy I could go home to you, but Joline she is hurt badly ……” I was sobbing again. “I should have went back to get her!” he told me “It’s not your fault, it was a freak accident. She is going to be alright, I love you so much. Do you know that?” then I said “yes I know I love you too.” “I will take you to the hospital to see her” he put me down and kissed me softly, yet passionately and held me close as we walked to the hospital.

But I know I never wanted to relive that day no matter how much anyone paid me.


Skyeler Ariel Mullins

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