NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — The New London community and many around the world are saddened by the news that the former CEO of Zappos passed away following a fire at a home in New London. Now, News 8 is learning more about the fire which led to his death on Friday.
Tony Hsieh, 46, passed away Friday as a result of injuries sustained in an early morning fire on Nov. 18 at a home at 500 Pequot Ave.
Tributes to Hsieh continue to come in as News 8 learns more about that fire.
New London Fire Department tweeted the day of the fire that it involved “reported people trapped.”
Audio of scanner transmissions from the fire was released by Broadcastify Monday:
“The male is barricaded inside. He’s not opening the door. Everyone else is outside the house. They’re trying to get him to open up.”
One person was found unresponsive in a home at 500 Pequot Avenue. Within minutes New London firefighters locate the victim in a storage area at the back of the house where they could see black smoke.
“We have one victim being pulled from the fire now unresponsive.
Being pulled from the fire now unresponsive and we’re calling the hospital.”
Fire Chief Thomas Curcio told News 8 they forced entry into the home, found Hsieh, and began CPR before transporting him to the hospital. He was later flown to Bridgeport Hospital in critical condition.
People we spoke with in the neighborhood Sunday said they are saddened by the news and expressed their condolences to the family.
One woman who did not want to go on camera said, “We saw the fire trucks but didn’t get a sense of where the fire was except it was across the street. There were a lot of trucks and what not…I’m real sorry that this happened.”
Hsieh was reportedly visiting family when he died.
Hsieh was remembered as a visionary and an incredible human being.
According to property records the home was just bought in August by Rachel Brown who was reportedly a longtime employee of Zappos and who early on in her career according to the company website was hand-picked by Hsieh to teach the company culture to all the other employees.
The office of the state medical examiner lists the cause of death as complications of smoke inhalation and ruled Hsieh’s death accidental. The cause of the fire has not yet been released.