Two adults, two teens dead after intentional fire at home owned by ex-tennis star

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Four bodies were discovered after a fire damaged a Florida home that was leased out by its owner, former tennis player James Blake, authorities said Wednesday.

The identities of the four people weren’t being immediately released by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, and the cause of the fire has yet to be determined, though authorities found fireworks in the Tampa home, officials said.

The deceased were a family of four, according to CNN affiliate WTSP.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Col. Donna Lusczynski said Blake was not at the home at the time of the fire. He was leasing the property and was contacted by phone after the incident by sheriff’s officials.

Blake, 34, was once ranked No. 4 in tennis among world singles and played in the 2006 Tennis Masters Cup, according to his Facebook page.

At 5:45 a.m. Wednesday, authorities received a 911 call about an explosion and then a fire at the home.

Firefighters began extinguishing the fire and then discovered two bodies inside the 6,000-square-foot house, authorities said. Crews found a third body and then a fourth, the sheriff’s office said.

“Due to the magnitude of the structural damage caused by the fire, this investigation will be a slow, meticulous process,” the sheriff’s office said.

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