Flames engulf the Florida mansion owned by the former tennis star.

Flames engulf the Florida mansion owned by the former tennis star. Photo: Reuters

The bodies of four people have been found after a fire destroyed a  million-dollar Florida mansion owned by former tennis star James Blake.

Blake and his family are in Connecticut, his management company confirmed. Sports Illustrated reports that Blake was renting the home ‘to someone else''. The 550 square-metre home is inside the exclusive Avila Golf and Country Club in Tampa.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but firefighters told detectives that they found fireworks inside the residence.

Firefighters say they found fireworks in the damaged building.

Firefighters say they found fireworks in the damaged building. Photo: Reuters

Police have not determined whether the people found dead were killed by the fire or some other cause, and their identities have not been released by investigators.

The sheriff's office says the biggest fear is losing evidence to the fire. Investigators are expected to be out at the scene for days trying to collect evidence. Detectives may not be able to enter the remains of the home until Thursday, due to structural damage.

Blake, who retired last year, attended Harvard before turning professional in 1999, was a consistent top-10 player from 2006-08, reaching a high of No. 4 in 2006, and he won 10 singles titles and seven in doubles on the ATP World Tour.

James Blake reached a high of number four in world rankings.

James Blake reached a high of number four in world rankings. Photo: Reuters

He reached three Grand Slam quarterfinals, including two in New York, losing at that stage to Andre Agassi in 2005 and to Roger Federer in 2006.

Blake was the second-best American player during his peak years, behind only Andy Roddick, and he teamed with Roddick and the Bryan brothers to capture the Davis Cup for the US in 2007.

Washington Post and wires