Four dead in fire at home of James Blake, former tennis star (updated)


James Blake, in 2012. (Kathy Willens / AP)

Updated at 3:30 p.m. with fourth fatality.

The bodies of four people have been found after a fire destroyed the Avila, Fla., home owned by former tennis player James Blake.

Blake and his family are in Connecticut, his management company confirmed. Sports Illustrated reports that Blake was renting the mansion ‘to someone else.” The fire at the home north of Tampa was so intense that it continues to smolder and investigators may be unable to enter the home to examine evidence for days, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Donna Lusczynski said. Firefighters, who initially responded to a 911 call around 5:45 a.m., are also concerned about the structural integrity of the massively damaged home and found fireworks inside.

The identities of the victims have not been released and it is not apparent whether they died in the fire or from another cause.

Blake, 34, who is married and has a 2-year-old daughter, retired from competitive tennis last year.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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