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Newspaper Page Text
"Did he even tell you that he
was ordered by the coroner to
read the state law providing that
factory doors shall swing out
. "How old is Herman?"
' "Oh, about 27, I think."
"And how long has he been
with the department?"
"About two years."
The reporter was silent for a
"Then Attorney Herman did
not inform you by letter or in
any other way that your depart
ment had been criticised by the
coroner's jury?" he said .at last.
"He did not," said Cohen.
"Has the information that your
department and the city building
department were held responsi
ble for Anna Imroth's death and
advised to co-operate so as to
avoid like tragedies in the future
come to you from any other
source?" the reporter asked.
"No," said Cohen.
"Did the coroner not send you
a copy of the verdict?"
"Cohen then explained. "We
haven't," he said, "been giving
muth attention to fire safety laws
this winter. You understand we
have nine other laws to enforce
and almost any one of. them is
enough to keep our whole force
busy. The women's ten-hour law
is keeping all our men busy in
Chicago right now."
"How many men have you?"
asked the reporter.
"The state of Illinois has only
20 inspectors," said Cohen; "New
York has 115. Chief Inspector
Davies will ask the present legis
lature for 90 men. We need
"How many men have you in
Chicago alone at present?"
"We have from ten to fifteen of
our men, from one-third to one
half of our entire force in Chicago
most of the time. It is impossi
ble for so small a number of men
to see that all ten of the state laws
which this department is suppos
ed to enforce are enforced."
"Is, the city building depart
ment correct in throwing all
blame from its shoulders by say
ing that your office is responsible
for the enforcement of the outward-swinging
door law?" asked
"They have a bigger force of
men than we have," said Cohen,
"and there is a city ordinance
which requires that their depart
ment see that outward-swinging
doors are installed at the time of
"The city building department
says it has orily five men to at
tend to 11,000 buildings and that
it is up to you to enforce the door
law," said the reporter.
"It is impossible for us to
watch all the buildings ,the law re
quires," said Cohen, flatly.
"Then," said the reporter, "we
may look forward to other such
tragedies as the Imroth one; we
may expect other girls to be burn
ed to death in the same way in
the same sort of fire traps?"
"We haven't got enough men
to watch all the places we are
supposed to," said Cohen.