Former Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh died from complications of smoke inhalation, the Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner confirmed Monday, just three days after his death, according to News Nation. The state medical examiner's office, in confirming the cause of death, ruled his death an accident. The ruling came less than two weeks after Hsieh sustained injuries in a house fire while visiting Connecticut, which resulted in his hospitalization.
The fire, a cause for which remains under investigation, occurred in New London, Connecticut on Nov. 18, with the Hartford Courant reporting that firefighters responded to a call around 3:30 a.m. that someone was trapped inside the home. According to emergency radio transmissions archived by Broadcastify.com, the fire broke out in the basement of the home, and people at the home told responding firefighters that someone was locked in a storage area with smoke coming out of it. New London Fire Chief Thomas Curcio told the Courant the victim was pulled from the home and CPR was administered. The victim, later identified to be Hsieh, was first taken to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital and then later transferred to Connecticut Burn Center at Bridgeport Hospital. Hsieh died on Friday, DTP Companies, which Hsieh founded, confirmed.
"I can now confirm Tony passed from injuries sustained in a house fire that occurred on 11/18 in New London, CT," Downtown Partnership spokesperson Megan Fazio said, with DTP Companies adding in a statement that Hsieh's "kindness and generosity touched the lives of everyone around him, and forever brightened the world. Delivering happiness was always his mantra, so instead of mourning his transition, we ask you to join us in celebrating his life."
Hsieh's death was also confirmed by Zappos, which said in a statement that "it is with very heavy hearts that we are sharing some very sad news with all of you, as we have learned that Tony passed away earlier today." Hsieh joined Zappos four years after graduating from Harvard University in 1995. He retired in August 2020 after working for the company for 20 years. The company said that Hsieh had "a tremendous impact" on Zappos, adding that "the world has lost a tremendous visionary and an incredible human being… Tony's kindness and generosity touched the lives of everyone around him, as his mantra was of 'Delivering Happiness' to others. His spirit will forever be a part of Zappos, and we will continue to honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he was so passionate about."