3 dead in fire at home belonging to tennis star James Blake

Photo via TBO.com

A fire in North Tampa has left three people dead at a home belonging to former tennis star James Blake.

Three people were found dead Wednesday morning following the investigation of a fire at a Tampa mansion belonging to former tennis player James Blake.

Hillsborough County Sheriffs Department spokeswoman Donna Lusczynski issued a statement indicating firefighters responded to a 911 call in the affluent Avila area shortly before 6 a.m. and found the house on fire. Three bodies were found upon entering the residence.

The cause of death was not revealed by the Sherrifs Department, though information given to Meredyth Censullo indicates the deaths were caused by gunshots to the head, not the fire itself. Censullo is also reporting that heavy-duty fireworks were wrapped around the heads of the deceased and that additional fireworks were rigged in such a manner as to prevent firefighters from entering the building due to concerns about unpredictable explosions.

Neighbors report that Blake hadn't been at the home in months, and believed that he was renting the house to undisclosed leasees. The James Blake Foundation confirmed to WTSP that Blake was not at home during the fire.

There's currently no indication when police will release more information, with Lusczynski telling the media it "could be days," before victims are identified and the home is deemed safe for investigators to enter.

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