Investigators later blamed the fire on a smoldering cigarette that had been tossed into a trash chute, which ran through all 13 floors of the hospital. When someone opened a door somewhere along the chute's pathway, it provided the oxygen for a fireball that blew through the chute's ninth-floor door. Weir explains why the fire changed hospital safety throughout the country:
As a result of the 1961 fire, the National Fire Protection Association made changes in its 1963 Life Safety Code for hospitals, including requiring sprinklers for trash chutes, requiring that all barriers be built for one-hour fire resistance and requiring that all draperies and curtains have fire-resistant coatings.
Television station WTIC-TV, Channel 3, shot some dramatic footage that day, as the fire raged and rescuers worked frantically. Its successor station, Eyewitness News 3 (WFSB), pulled some of it from the vaults. The station also posted this footage, without audio.
NBC Connecticut (WVIT) had nice video from the hospital's remembrance ceremony and interviews with rescuers and hospital staff.