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At around closing time 100 years ago on March 25, a fire broke out on the eighth floor of the Asch Building on the corner of Greene Street and Washington Place in New York City.

It was the start of what would be known as the deadliest workplace disaster in the city until the attack on the World Trade Center. Due to the fire and the horrific manner in which it took the lives of 146 people, a new kind of insurance was born in New York and building safety standards were instituted — standards that insurers today still devote resources to verify when underwriting a commercial property policy.

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