The tennis star fire that is making headlines around the country and especially in the state of Florida was likely arson and it claimed the lives of four tentatively identified people–two adults and two teenagers. Owned by tennis star James Blake, the mansion near Tampa went up in flames on Wednesday. Blake wasn’t there at the time of the blaze. He had been renting out the property for quite some time.
Hillsborough County, Florida voter registration shows the renters were Darrin and Kimberly Campbell, although that hasn’t been officially announced by local authorities. A former neighbor said the teenagers were named Colin and Megan. The Campbell family was unaccounted for on Wednesday following the fire.
It is reported that two of the victims suffered some sort of upper body trauma, indicating that the fire may have been set to cover up foul play. Another possible theory in investigator’s minds is a murder-suicide.
Deadly house fire in Avila. Home owned by #Tennis star James Blake. Authorities: he was not inside the house. http://t.co/hPIfFMQ3dE #10News
— Melissa-10News (@10NewsMel) May 7, 2014
The fire department discovered fireworks inside the burning home when they responded to the fire around 5:45 A.M. It is undetermined thus far where in the mansion the fireworks were located or what kind of explosives they were.
George Connley was once a neighbor to the Campbell family.
“They were a very nice family, we know nothing of any problems,” he said, speaking to reporters. “The kids were outstanding children. This is very difficult to put our arms around.”
The ‘tennis star fire’ end of this tragedy refers simply to the ownership of the mansion. James Blake bought the home in 2005 for $1.5 million. The home was located in Avila–an exclusive enclave known for its lavish homes and tight security. Many well known athletes purchased homes in the neighborhood that features a country club and golf course.
James Blake was ranked fourth on the ATP world tour in 2006. He has since retired. He heads the James Blake Foundation which is dedicated to cancer research in memory of his father.
Carlos Fleming is Blake’s agent. He confirmed to the media that Blake was not in Florida at the time of the ‘tennis star fire.’ He made no further comments on the tragedy.
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