Ex-Zappos CEO's cause of death revealed amid mystery as NO external damage seen at home where deadly blaze erupted

THE home that former Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh suffered fatal fire injuries in shows no obvious signs of damage – as medical examiners revealed his cause of death on Monday.

Hsieh, 46, died from smoke inhalation complications and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled the death an accident, the Hartford Courant reported.


The cause of the fire at home in New London, Connecticut, remains under investigation.

Located on the waterfront overlooking the Long Island Sound, the 3,100-square-foot house appeared in as good condition on Monday as it did four months prior when it sold for $1.3million, The Daily Mail reported. 

“There was very little damage,” a man who answered the door told the outlet.

The man, who was not named, referred further questions to Hsieh’s lawyer Puoy Premsrirut.


“She's dealing with everything. We want it all to come from one voice. We’re having a tough day today,” the man added. 

Hsieh was visiting family at the house at 500 Pequot Ave. on November 18 when the structure caught fire in the morning. 

At the time, New London Fire Chief Thomas Curcio said one person was trapped in the home and that a victim sustained injuries, but did not identify Hsieh and said the incident was “still under investigation.” 

Hsieh sustained burns and inhaled smoke and was transported to LawrenceMemorial Hospital in New London.


He was then airlifted to a hospital burns unit in Bridgeport and succumbed to his injuries on Friday. 

The home is owned by a former employee of Zappos, Rachael Brown, 47, who climbed the corporate ladder from a temporary phone representative to a management team member, according to the online shoe retailer’s website. 

Hsieh’s brother was reportedly at the house when it became ablaze, but it is unknown whether Brown was present. 

Brown purchased the home after selling her house in Henderson, Nevada, for just over $300,000 in May, according to records obtained by The Daily Mail. 


The three-story, five-bedroom waterfront home is less than a half mile from the house where playwright Eugene O’Neill grew up. 

Realtor Bobbi McBride Doyen highlighted the Connecticut home’s “smart” electronic features when it was listed in the summer. 

“The coolness factor, as well as the glimmering water view of the third floor crow's nest bedroom hideaway, is something to be experienced,” Doyen said.

She added that the “epoxied garage floor is worthy of a car dealership showroom with a 'smart' garage door.”

The listing for the home stated it was “polished” with “luxurious interior and exterior spaces” and “year-round waterfront beach glamour.”

Brown was among Hsieh’s closest confidantes, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Hsieh, who led Zappos for two decades and retired in August, helped revitalize downtown Las Vegas, were the retailer is based.

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