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New London investigators give some insight into the death of Zappos founder

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    NEW LONDON, CT (WFSB) — Investigators revealed more information about a fire in New London that killed the founder of a popular online shoe company.

The New London police and fire department released a new report on the death of 46-year-old Tony Hsieh Tuesday. They said there was no criminal violations or aspects associated with the incident.

However, they said “human factors” contributed to Hsieh’s circumstances.

Hsieh died in a shed attached to a home on Pequot Avenue back on Nov. 18, 2020.

Body cam video was released of crews arriving on the scene.

Investigators on Tuesday said that a number of things could have contributed to the fire. However, they could not pinpoint the exact cause of the fire.

They said they found a propane heater, discarded smoking materials, including a marijuana pipe and cigarettes, and candles in the shed.

Surveillance video on the property also showed Hsieh moving in and out of the shed at certain points before the fire was reported. In the video, investigators said light smoke could be seen seeping from the door.

Eventually, someone else on the property noticed that Hsieh didn’t respond and called for help.

Police said he was transported to a hospital, but died a week afterward.

Dispatcher recordings said that Hsieh was initially “barricaded” in the shed on Nov. 18.

New London police said when they arrived at the fire, Hsieh was locked inside the storage area.

He was brought to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, then airlifted to the Bridgeport Hospital Burn Unit.

The state medical examiner said that Hsieh died from complications of smoke inhalation. The death was ruled accidental.

Hsieh was the founder of Zappos.

According to published reports, his friends feared that his use of nitrous oxide and his love of candles may have caused the fire.

A friend told the Daily Mail that the laughing gas had become as important to Hsieh as alcohol.

However, investigators said it remains unclear what led up to his death.

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