Pure terror and grief gripped the bystanders at the fire and the victims' family members.
Thousands of people, who had crushed in from Broadway and Washington Square and were screaming with horror at what they saw...
Fire chiefs and officials were shocked and helpless at the scene. Firefighters attempted to catch women jumping from the building, only to witness their deaths as they tore through the safety nets. Many said this was the worst disaster they had ever witnessed. Others predicted a tragedy like this would occur. Charred and broken bodies were taken to the morgue. Once it was full, the corpses were sent to Charities Pier to be identified.
At the sight of the bodies the crowd broke into fresh weeping and screaming, each seeming to see in the charred and often unrecognizable remains of a loved one.
On April 25, 1911 the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union organized a funeral procession to honor the victims. On that rainy day, 120,000 people marched in the parade as 300,000 more lined the sidewalks. The city was in mourning and despair but was fervent for change.