Olympic Fencer Dies In Havdalah Fire
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
A 95-year-old former Olympic fencer died after accidentally setting himself, his wife, and his house on fire with a Havdalah candle Saturday night at his home in Boca Raton, Florida, the JTA reported.
Havdalah candles are actually several long thin candles braided together to form a torch-like flame. (Please see the above photo.) Havdalah candles are used during the weekly Saturday night ceremony that marks the end of Shabbat (the Jewish Sabbath).
Byron Krieger reportedly died early Monday morning from burns sustained in the fire.
His 92-year-old wife Joyce suffered minor burns in the fire.
Krieger was the NCAA champion in in 1942 while a student at Wayne State University in Michigan.
He won a gold medal in team foil fencing and team sabre fencing at the 1951 Pan American Games while competing with the US team.
Krieger was a foil fencer for the US Olympic team and competed (but did not medal) in the 1952 and 1956 Olympics.
In 1957, he won the gold medal in both foil fencing and sabre fencing at the Maccabiah Games.
He was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1986.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, six children, 16 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.