LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Newly released photos from New London, Connecticut, fire authorities show the burned-out shed where former Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh was staying and the aftermath of the blaze connected to his death.
There are 153 pictures that document the scene from the fire which was reported in the early morning hours of Nov. 18, 2020.
According to authorities, Hsieh was staying at the home belonging to his girlfriend and long-time coworker Rachel Brown.
Hsieh had a fight with Brown and moved to an attached shed to the home shortly before midnight of Nov. 18.
Photos depict the scene and aftermath, with yellow tape surrounding the charred shed door and multiple items including fire extinguishers, a burned and singed propane tank, and tools.
New interior photos show the storage shed in disarray and many burned or charred items.
Specific investigation photos reveal a cigarette pack, multiple cigarette butts tossed around, and a marijuana pipe that had visible fire markings.
Investigators also noticed a Fernet Branca liqueur bottle, several candles, nitrous oxide material and a blanket that had caught fire earlier in the evening before the fatal fire.
"The interviews with the witnesses said that Tony does enjoy candles, and that's been well reported," said New London Fire Marshal Vernon Skau during a Jan. 26 news conference.
"It reminds him of a simpler time in his life is what the common trend on the answer to that has been," said Skau.
Additional photos show the propane heater which the official investigation report pointed out as one of four potential causes for the fire.
Another possible cause included the fire was an intentional act by Hsieh.
The official cause was ruled "undetermined."
"In a case like this, it's not usual by the mere fact that there are so many different sources of the ignition of this fire, that you can't eliminate all of them," explained Skau.
Among the charred items inside the shed were several pads of Post-it Notes, some containing hand-written notes.
Some of the photos show the Post-it Notes with writing which describes yoga.
Fire investigators also noticed another clue.
"It was just a small Ziploc bag and it had a few Post-it Notes inside it and it was extinguished," said Skau while indicating this fire was set and put out by Hsieh earlier in the evening, before the final fatal fire.
More Post-it Notes got the attention of fire investigators on the exterior of the shed.
The notes were photographed and referred to a "process" which indicated the effort his personal assistant spent every 10 minutes in the middle of the night to check on Hsieh and his well-being.
It was a request Hsieh made but it remains unclear why, according to investigators.
The evidence at the scene and photographs helped investigators arrive at four possible causes of the fire but it remains unknown if Hsieh's mental state was a factor.
"I don't know you could really indicate what's in somebody's state of mind at the time of a fire," said Skau.
Fire investigators said the shed Hsieh was staying in was equipped with a carbon monoxide alarm but sounded too late into the fire's progress.
Authorities believe the fire linked to Hsieh's death was preventable and say if a smoke detector was installed in the shed, it may have alerted others inside the home there was a problem in the shed.