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Tony Hsieh it’s revealed was ‘barricaded’ in a shed when blaze broke out – Colleagues of Zappos CEO fear his addiction to nitrous oxide whippets, burning candles and Grey Goose vodka could be behind explosion that led to his death

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Tony Hsieh, 46, was pulled unconscious from a burning shed attached to a home in New London, Connecticut, on November 18, dying in a hospital nine days later

A dispatch tape revealed that Hsieh was ‘barricaded’ inside the shed, and wasn’t answering the door

Firefighters had to break down the door to drag him out, but they were too late His death was ruled accidental and he died of complications of smoke inhalation

Friends revealed that the Zappos CEO’s drug abuse was escalating at the time of his death

Colleagues and friends were aware of his heavy alcohol and drug use: -‘Anyone that challenged him about it was cast aside’

There are suggestions thathis use of the laughing gas nitrous oxide and his love of candles could have caused the fire that killed him

‘In recent months the nitrous oxide had become as important to Tony as his alcohol,’ one close colleague said. ‘And Grey Goose vodka was his best friend’

Another said: ‘The talk among his former colleagues at Zappos is that Tony was likely in the shed blacked out drunk and on drugs’

A spokeswoman for the office confirmed that the ruling was made before toxicology reports — not due till after the New Year

Shoe magnate Tony Hsieh’s drug abuse was growing fast at the time of his death. Friends fear that his use of the laughing gas nitrous oxide and his love of candles could have caused the fire that killed him 

Shoe magnate Tony Hsieh’s drug abuse was growing fast at the time of his death. Friends feared that his use of the laughing gas nitrous oxide and his love of candles could have caused the fire that killed him.
‘In recent months the nitrous oxide had become as important to Tony as his alcohol,’ one close colleague said. ‘And Grey Goose vodka was his best friend.’
Although nitrous oxide is not flammable it does accelerate the burning of combustible material that is already alight, according to PubChem
Hsieh, 46, was pulled unconscious from the burning shed attached to a waterfront home in New London, Connecticut, shortly after 3:30 am on November 18. He died in hospital nine days later. 

Hsieh, 46, was pulled unconscious from a burning shed (pictured) attached to a waterfront home in New London, Connecticut, shortly after 3.30am on November 18. He died in hospital nine days later

A dispatch tape revealed that he was ‘barricaded’ inside the shed.
‘Everyone else is outside the house. They are trying to get him to open up.’
Firefighters had to break down the door to drag him out, but they were too late to save his life.
“Upon arrival on the scene, emergency services personnel observed dark smoke emanating from the back of the residential structure,” wrote Capt. Brian Wright. “Individuals at the scene informed emergency personnel that a man, who was later identified as Anthony Hsieh, 46, was locked inside a storage area where smoke was coming out at the rear of the residence, and they were unable to get him out. Emergency personnel breached the storage area door, retrieved the victim.”
‘The male is barricaded inside and not answering the door,’ the dispatcher says. Everyone else is outside the house. They are trying to get him to open up’.
A police dispatch tape obtained revealed that he was ‘barricaded’ inside the shed: ‘The male is barricaded inside and not answering the door,’ the dispatcher says. Emergency personnel breached the storage area door, retrieved the victim.”
“Subsequently, the victim was transported to L+M Hospital for severe injuries he sustained. Following initial treatment at L+M Hospital, Mr. Hsieh was then transported to Bridgeport Hospital’s Burn Center for more extensive medical care.”
Hsieh died On Friday at Bridgeport Hospital. The Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has already ruled his death accidental and that he died of complications of smoke inhalation.

Although it only took firefighters minutes to break down the door and drag him out, it was too late to save Hsieh.

And though it only took firefighters minutes to break down the door and drag him out, it was too late to save him. ‘One victim being pulled from the fire now — unresponsive,’ a firefighter says just eight and a half minutes into the call. The fire was reported as under control moments later.
Hsieh, 46, was originally taken to Lawrence Memorial Hospital in New London before being airlifted to a hospital in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where died on the day after Thanksgiving 

The fire broke out around 3:30 am on November 18 at a $1.3 million waterfront home in New London, Connecticut

The fire broke out around 3:30 am on November 18 at a $1.3 million waterfront home in New London, Connecticut, where Hsieh, former CEO of the giant Zappos empire and his brother had been staying Listen to the dispatch call for the fire that killed Tony Hsieh
Newly emerging information suggests that former Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh was addicted to whippets.
Whippet is a slang term for inhaling laughing gas – nitrous oxide – from straight from a canister or a balloon filled with the gas. 
It gives users an intense high that lasts anywhere from 20 seconds to a minute.

Whippet is a slang term for inhaling laughing gas – nitrous oxide – from straight from a canister or a balloon filled with the gas

 1qIts usage is most common with young adults and college students. 
Alarming side-effects include strokes, hallucinations, seizures, blackouts, incontinence, heart stress on the heart, chronic depression and even — in cases of prolonged use — depleted bone marrow.
An insider said: ‘In recent months the nitrous oxide had become as important to Tony as his alcohol use.
‘Tony encouraged partying at Zappos, he wanted his team to hang out with him.
‘His heavy alcohol and drug use was known by everyone around him, but anyone that challenged him about it was cast aside.’  
A spokeswoman for the office confirmed that the ruling was made before toxicology reports — not due till after the New Year — have been completed. ‘But that will not change unless the medical examiner deems the tests relevant,’ she said.
People close to Hsieh are now painting a dark picture of his heavy drug use which they say had escalated since he quit as CEO of the online shoe giant Zappos in the summer.
‘His heavy alcohol and drug use was known by everyone around him,’ the colleague said. ‘Anyone that challenged him about it was cast aside.
‘The talk among his former colleagues at Zappos is that Tony was likely in the shed blacked out drunk and on drugs. He was a major alcoholic and a drug addict. He was hardcore.’

Tony Hsieh [left], was staying at the home owned by Rachael Brown [right],, a former employee at Las Vegas-based Zappos

Hsieh had often talked about his drug use and his love in his younger days for all night raves. Vanity Fair called him ‘the consummate partier’ who often took shots of Grey Goose ‘just because.’
‘We trust our employees to use good judgment, which 99.9 percent of them do,’ he told Playboy. ‘We’d rather not create policies to address the 0.1 percent at the cost of fun for the other 99.9.’
He loved going to the annual Burning Man celebration in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, where open drug use is common.
Recently though, nitrous oxide had become his drug of choice, taking it in the form of ‘whippets’ straight from the cartridge of a whipped cream dispenser.
‘He would take dozens of them a day,’ the colleague said.
‘He lived a crazy, eccentric life. The drugs often made him hallucinate, he became paranoid — that could explain why he barricaded himself in,’ he added.
‘Tony was very fond of candles. He liked to set the atmosphere.’
‘The guess is that he managed to ignite one of the nitrous oxide canisters which caused a small explosion that killed him.’ 

Hsieh had often talked about his drug use and his love in his younger days for all night raves. Vanity Fair called him ‘the consummate partier’ who often took shots of Grey Goose ‘just because’

His colleague is not the only one who has talked about Hsieh’s nitrous oxide abuse.
A poster calling themselves therealx said on Ycombinator that he had drunk late into the night with Hsieh in the Airstream trailer where he lived in Las Vegas. 
The home where he died is owned by Rachael Brown a former employee at Las Vegas-based Zappos, who, according to the company website, rose from a temporary phone representative to being a critical member of the management team

A look at the home where the Ex-Zappos CEO died in fire: The property [shown first before the fire and after] which overlooks Long Island Sound, showed no sign of damage after the deadly blaze.
The dispatcher stated the fire is in ‘a shed that is attached to the exterior of the house. The male is barricaded inside and not answering the door’. She adds: ‘Everyone else is outside the house. They are trying to get him to open up’.
Firefighters broke their way in shortly after 3:30am and pulled an unresponsive Hsieh from the property. CPR was administered at the scene 

Firefighters broke their way in shortly after 3:30am and pulled an unresponsive Hsieh from the property. CPR was administered at the scene 
Inside the tiny Airstream trailer in Las Vegas, where Tony Hsieh lived, despite his $840 million fortune 

A poster calling themselves therealx said on Ycombinator that he had drunk late into the night with Hsieh in the Airstream trailer where he lived in Las Vegas.
‘When the drinks were mostly finished, and the clock was past 3am, the #1 rumor would be of his drug use. At first, I thought it was standard rumors due to his laid-back nature and stature (and maybe conflated with the fact that he smoked weed legally.
Another poster, Goodlead, added: ‘This is true, I don’t have all the facts, but Tony was obsessed with candles lately. First-hand account says candles + nitrous tank caused the “fire” but it’s more likely that he went too hard on the nitrous and was brain starved of oxygen, was on life support for many days braindead before his body went.
‘That being said, Tony was a great guy, and did so much for countless people. Myself included,’ added Goodlead. ‘He will be missed. His community of clingers and simps though… they are in finger pointing mode and eating themselves alive.’
Fire officials in New London have not said whether there were candles in the shed where Hsieh was critically injured.
In interviews before Hsieh’s death on Friday last week, Curcio said he has said he could not reveal the cause of the fire because it was still under investigation.

‘That being said, Tony was a great guy, and did so much for countless people. Myself included,’ friend

Amazon owner Jeff Bezos paid tribute to a brilliant mind. ‘The world lost you way too soon,’ he wrote. ‘Your curiosity, vision, and relentless focus on customers leave an indelible mark. You will be missed by so many, Tony. Rest In Peace’
Megan Fazio, a spokeswoman for Hsieh’s company later said that she would not comment on Hsieh’s ‘personal matters.’
‘We are not providing any interviews at this time to give those who just lost a friend and family member their very necessary time and privacy to grieve, and we are not at liberty to discuss anything further than the statement we provided as the investigation of the fire as it is still ongoing, and it would be speculative to comment on matters under investigation,’ Fazio added.
Those who knew him said Hsieh surrounded himself with people who ‘enabled’ his addictions. ‘There was always people around, people living in his homes.
‘He lived to bring people together and even wrote a book about bringing happiness. ‘So it’s sad that he was all alone in a storage area when he was injured.’ 
Hsieh and his brother were staying in a $1.3 million home overlooking the point where the Thames River empties into Long Island Sound that was bought in July by his long-time employee Rachael Brown.
His traveling assistant Anthony Hebert was also with them.

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