Police: Arson kills 4 at Fla. mansion of ex-tennis star James Blake

The fire at a Florida mansion belonging to a former tennis star was intentionally set and four bodies were found in the charred remains, police

Officials in Florida say firefighters found four bodies

Officials in Florida say firefighters found four bodies in a burning mansion owned by Fairfield native James Blake.

TAMPA - (AP) The fire at a Florida mansion belonging to a former tennis star was intentionally set and four bodies were found in the charred remains, police said Wednesday.
    
The victims were described as two adults and two teenagers, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Col. Donna Lusczynski said. She described the fire as unusual and said there were "various fireworks" throughout the Tampa Bay-area home.
    
Two of the victims appeared to have suffered from upper-body trauma, but Lusczynski didn't indicate which ones or give any more details. She also said no weapons had been found and that murder-suicide was a possibility.
    
The teens' bodies were found in their respective bedrooms and the two adults were found in one bedroom, she said.
    
Former tennis standout James Blake had been renting the home to a family for about the past two years, and was not there at the time of the fire, Lusczynski said. She identified the renters as the Campbell family; voter registration records identified them as Darrin Campbell and his wife, Kimberly.
    
A former neighbor, George Connley, said Darrin Campbell was the treasurer of Carrollwood Day School, a private school attended by the Campbell's teenage children, Colin and Megan.
    
The Campbells were unaccounted for Wednesday, but Luscyznski would not say if authorities believed the bodies in the house to be theirs. She said the remains have not been positively identified yet.
    
At one time, Darrin Campbell was the senior vice president at PODS, a company that provides mobile, temporary shipping and storage containers. According to his LinkedIn profile, he left PODS in 2007 and was a vice president at IVANS, an insurance company.
    
IVANS was purchased by another company and Campbell no longer worked there, said Matt Fogt, a spokesman for the new company, Applied Systems, who was reached by telephone.
    
"They were a very nice family, we know nothing of any problems," Connley said. "The kids were outstanding children. This is very difficult to put our arms around."
    
He said that Kimberly Campbell was "sophisticated and classy."
    
The fire at the more-than-6,000-square-foot home north of downtown Tampa was reported about 6 a.m. Wednesday. Blake bought the home in the Avila subdivision in 2005 for $1.5 million, according to Hillsborough County property records. It had five bedrooms and five bathrooms. Video of the fire showed it totally engulfed in flames.
    
Avila is an exclusive enclave known for its mansions and heavy security. Many well-known athletes call the community home and over the years, various football, baseball and tennis players have bought homes in the subdivision, which has a country club and golf course.
    
Blake, 34, was ranked fourth on the ATP world tour in 2006. He retired last year. He also has the James Blake Foundation, an organization dedicated to cancer research, in memory of his father who died of gastric cancer.
    
His agent, Carlos Fleming, told The Associated Press that Blake was not in Florida. He declined to comment further.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

The two women hurt in the crash were 1 Fundraiser started for women hurt in tractor-trailer crash
Authorities say it happened in the Springdale section 2 Stamford PD: Teens rob unlocked car in Springdale section
Aquarion Water Company says the 12-inch main on 3 Crews working to fix water main break in Greenwich
Police say two women from Stamford were badly 4 Police: 2 women injured after tractor-trailer hits car
Police say the robbery was at First County 5 Man wearing ghost mask robs Norwalk bank

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

Focus on Connecticut Focus on Connecticut

Features local, state and federal officials discussing the issues around southwestern Connecticut.

Celebrates African-American culture in southwestern Connecticut. Our Lives

Celebrates African-American culture in southwestern Connecticut.

Each week News 12 Connecticut introduces you to Hometown Hero

News 12 highlights people who give to the community.

We spotlight a local team each week. Connecticut Team of the Week

Each week News 12 Connecticut highlights a team from a local school.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE