A man whose badly burned body was found in the sauna of his North Miami Beach condominium died from a heart attack, the Miami-Dade medical examiner said Thursday.
The official cause of death for 68-year-old Dennis Antiporek is acute mild cardio infarction, due to hyperintensive and atherosclerosis heart disease, the medical examiner's office said.
Antiporek had gone to the sauna at the Eden Isles Condos late Sunday, but when he didn't return, his wife and daughter found his burned body on Monday.
Family members said it was a gruesome scene.
"I found someone that was so burnt beyond recognition, his skin felt worse than a dried piece of beef jerky," daughter Lara Antiporek said.
Attorneys for the family are accusing the condo of negligence, claiming the timer switch malfunctioned.
"We believe that the heart attack was heat induced. The heating coils on the sauna are required to have a thermostat and the timer should have worked. Under no circumstances whatsoever should the heat have gotten to a level where he cooked," attorney Joseph Madalon said. "He was a regular user of the sauna, so his body was used to it. He would go multiple times a week, so we know his body was capable of handling a sauna when it was properly functioning. Our assumption has been that it was a heat-induced stroke, heat-induced heart attack, or heat-induced dehydration."
Messages left with Elite Management, the property managers, weren't immediately returned Thursday afternoon.
Madalon said Antiporek had passed a stress test less than a month before he died and said his heart was in good shape. He added that the condo association has rules regarding the timing and usage of the sauna and that if they were enforced, Antiporek's death could have been prevented.