Tony Hsieh, the former CEO of online shoe and clothing retailer, Zappos, tried to get help for his drug problems a few hours before he died in the tragic shed fire. According to close friends of the tech genius, he reached out to them to help him combat his addiction and was even contemplating going to a rehabilitation center before his death during the early hours of November 27.
Hsieh, who died a couple of weeks to his birthday, turned to drugs and alcohol for consolation during the lonely months of the pandemic. According to reports, he experimented with several controlled substances including psychedelic substance and ecstasy, stretching his body to its limit before he finally decided he needed help. He had plans to sign in for a rehabilitation program in a Hawaii center and had discussed with his close friends before the tragic incident.
Close associates also reported that Hsieh told them to call him intermittently before he entered the shed in the Connecticut Waterfront house where he sustained injuries that later took his life. Law enforcement agencies who took Hsieh from the scene have explained that investigations are still being carried out on the incident, and they are still unsure what started the fire. The officers also stated that preliminary reports have revealed that Hsieh inhaled smoke from the fire which damaged his lungs and later caused his death.
Before the accident, Hsieh had been carrying out strange experiments on his body, putting it through intense situations to see what his limits were. According to reports, he starved himself of food and oxygen, trying to observe how long he could stay without each of the two important substances. His experiments included abusing nitrous oxide, a chemical substance which has been dubbed laughing gas for its effects on people who inhale it, WSJ reports.
Nitrous oxide is a substance that feeds fire as it supports combustion and there are unconfirmed reports that it was in the shed and could have contributed to the fire. Apart from making people laugh uncontrollably, notorious oxide also leads to fainting when it is taken in large quantities and there are reports that Hsieh went to the extreme in his experiments.
Paul Benson, a real estate agent also told reporters that he saw almost a thousand candles in Hsieh’s house in Utah. During a visit to the Park City house earlier in the year, Benson explained that he saw that Hsieh was fascinated with fire. The former CEO told the real estate agent that candles symbolize the image of life when things were simple and uncomplicated.
Hsieh also experimented with heaters in the shed which belongs to his girlfriend. He would tweak the heaters to reduce the oxygen in the shed, thereby starving himself of the substance. He also went on a 26-day alphabet diet, frequently, according to his close associates. The eccentric diet made him eat foods whose names start from a particular letter of the alphabet and by the time he was done, he would have put his body through so much stress and starvation.
Hsieh, who died intestate, sold Zappos to Amazon for $1 billion in 2009.