The man nicknamed ‘the dirtiest in Europe’ has passed away. Ludvik Dolezal, a homeless man from the Czech Republic, suffered from an unusual psychological condition.
He liked to burn everything and sleep in the ashes. With no access to running water, and perhaps a desire to be closer to his fire, he was covered in ash and his skin and beard were coated in grey dust.
Apart from the whites of his eyes, he was almost completely black.
When he was 57 years of age, he decided to quit his job “and live with fire”. He used to lie down in the hot ash to keep himself warm. He admitted that he had everything, a mattress, a duvet and blankets but he burnt them.
He kept a fire going until 7.30pm, when he would lie down in the ash to go to sleep.
The Czech government gave him €96 a month in benefits as well as weekly food packages but there were worries that he would burn anything they gave him that wasn’t edible.
He had problems with his lungs – not unsurprisingly – and smoked a packet of cigarettes a day, too.
Firefighters were often called to put out the fires he started, but no one was ever hurt by the flames – Including Ludvig himself.
On his daily trip to the shops to pick up some cigarettes, the villagers noticed he was not his usual self and called some health workers. He was later found dead in an abandoned farmhouse.
He claimed to have eight brothers and sisters, but wasn’t in touch with any of them and his death has not been considered suspicious.