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  • Arnold Forsythe, manager of The Century Suit Company, a model concern, is informed by his son, Harold, of the dangerous conditions in the shop of The Atlas Waist Syndicate on the floor below. Forsythe interviews Jacob Emanuel, manager of the Atlas shop, and informs him that unless he remedies conditions he will report him to the Fire Department. Stella Rubinow, a worker in the Century establishment, warned several times because of her carelessness in violating a fire ordinance, is discharged and in revenge acquaints Emanuel of a defective door in the Century shop, and as a reward is given a job. To get square with Forsythe, Emanuel writes the Fire Department about the door. Inspector Laude visits the Century shop and finds Forsythe ready and willing to adjust matters. As the Inspector is leaving, Randall, Forsythe's foreman, tells him of conditions in the shop below, and, upon investigation, he finds matters even worse than reported, the most flagrant violation being a door opening in the shop and kept locked during working hours. He orders Emanuel to comply with the regulations at once. Emanuel believes that Forsythe reported him and resolves to be revenged, by setting fire to the Century shop. Waiting until night, he steals up the fire-escape and enters through a window. Collecting a pile of rags, he saturates them with oil and sets fire to the mass. His daughter, Mabel, suspicious of his actions follows him and catches him in the act. While he makes his escape, she tries to extinguish the blazing rags. The heat from the flames starts the sprinklers and rings the automatic fire alarm, calling back Forsythe, who has just left, together with a watchman and a policeman. Emanuel, looking through a window from a fire-escape, where he had crawled, sees his daughter arrested for his crime. Harold Forsythe, believing Mabel is innocent, goes her bail and she is released, but will not divulge the name of the guilty party. On her return to the office, she has a scene with her father. Stella, listening at the office door, learns that Emanuel is the guilty one and threatens to inform the authorities if he does not buy her silence. A letter from the Fire Department warning Emanuel to make the required changes, together with the knowledge of the fact that his daughter is suspected of the crime, drives him nearly out of his mind, and he plans to burn down the building, but the continued carelessness of his foreman forestalls him. A cigarette thrown in a pile of old rags starts a fire and the inevitable panic ensues in the Atlas shop, while the flames leap about the dirty room. The workers, finding the exit door locked, rush to the fire-escape and Stella and the foreman, fighting to be the first, fall to their death. Emanuel, trapped by his own locked door, is dragged to the window by Mabel, but is fatally burned and crushed. Harold and the firemen rescue the two, but too late to save Emanuel, who, with his dying breath, clears his daughter.


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