TIME Athletes

4 Dead in Fire at Tennis Star James Blake’s Mansion

James Blake Fire
Reuters Flames engulf a house owned by former tennis pro James Blake in this photograph provided by the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office in Tampa, Fla. on May 7, 2014.

Police say a fire was intentionally set at the Florida mansion of the retired player on Wednesday, killing two adults and two teenagers who were renting out the $1.5 million property in a neighborhood north of Tampa

A family of four was found dead in a Florida home owned by former American tennis star James Blake after a fire that police say was intentionally set, the Associated Press reports.

Blake was renting out the mansion and was not there at the time of the blaze, officials said.

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Col. Donna Lusczynski said that two adults and two teenagers were found dead at the home outside Tampa Bay, according to the AP. She called the scene “unusual” and said authorities do not know how the fire was set. The victims have not yet been positively identified.

Firefighters were still fighting the blaze hours after it was first reported Wednesday morning, in a neighborhood north of Tampa known for its mansions and heavy security. Neighbors reportedly said it has been a long time since Blake had lived in the home, which he bought in 2005 for $1.5 million.

Blake was ranked fourth during the Association of Tennis Players world tour in 2006. He retired last year.


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