A bakery in the basement of a six-story New York City tenement at 142 Elm Street caught fire at around seven or eight o'clock in the evening. Before the fire was put out twenty residents were trapped and burned or suffocated. This led in April, 1860 to a state law being passed, the first in the nation, requiring fire escapes on all tenement buildings in the state. (By John Osborne)
Joseph Nathan Kane, ed., Famous First Facts (New York: H.W. Wilson Company, 1981), 263.
"Calamitous Fire," New York Times, February 3, 1860, p. 1.