8th Precinct Police Department
Hi, I'm Bill Spriggs, Assistant Secretary for Policy here at the Department of Labor. This is the site of the old 8th Precinct House. The 8th Precinct House was located on Leonard Street, by the intersection of Broadway and Varick Street, in lower Manhattan. The Triangle Shirtwaist factory is about a mile north east of this location. On Saturday afternoon, March 25, 1911, Mounted Officer Joseph P. Meehan was patrolling the area when he saw the windows of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory breaking, sending glass and debris crashing to the ground. Meehan may have been the first official on the scene. He could see the flames shooting from the windows as he approached the building. After reaching the building, Officer Meehan dismounted and selflessly went into the burning building. Officer Meehan bravely climbed up the stairway on Washington Street. At the seventh floor, the officer found a panicky pile up of people. He quickly organized the evacuation and workers began funneling out of the building toward the safety of the street. Had Meehan not acted so quickly and decisively, the death toll of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory could have been even higher.