Former U.S. Olympic fencer dies in fire set by Havdalah candle

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — An elderly Boca Raton man died after accidentally setting himself and his house alight with a Havdalah candle.

Byron Krieger, 95, died early Monday morning from injuries sustained in the accident, local news station WPTC reported.

His wife, Joyce, 92, suffered minor burns. They were married for 57 years.

As a young man Krieger was a foil fencer. He competed in the Olympics twice for the United States, in the 1952 Games in Helsinki and in the 1956 Games in Melbourne. He did not medal in either the team or individual event.

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In 1957, he won the gold medal in the foil and sabre at the Maccabiah Games. He was inducted into the Michigan Jewish Sports Hall of Fame’ in 1986.

Krieger, who attended Wayne State University in Michigan, was the NCAA champion in the foil in 1942, and won a gold medal in the team foil and team sabre at the 1951 Pan American Games.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by six children, 16 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren.

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