Mansion arson victims ‘were shot’
All four people suffered gunshot wounds before the million-dollar home they were renting burned down, confirm investigators.PT1M51S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-37zhy 620 349 May 9, 2014
A deadly fire in a Florida mansion took an even darker twist on Thursday when officials said all four people found dead inside had been shot.
The roughly 560-square-metre house, owned by former tennis star James Blake but which he rents out, went up in flames on Wednesday morning after neighbours reported hearing an explosion, officials said.
Mr Blake, who was out of the state at the time, had been leasing the home to a family who are feared to be the victims. The bodies of the two adults and two teenagers have not yet been officially identified.
The burned out home in Tampa, Florida. Photo: AP
Officials said on Wednesday the fire had been intentionally set. They also found fireworks throughout the home.
After a day of investigation, the Hillsborough County sheriff's office announced that officers had recovered a gun at the scene belonging to Darrin Campbell, 49, a member of the family who leased the home, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Officials announced on Thursday that Mr Campbell had bought several cans of gasoline and a large amount of fireworks in the days before the fire, the Tampa Bay Times reported. They did not call the incident a murder-suicide but said there were no suspects.
Flames engulf the Florida mansion owned by the former tennis star. Photo: Reuters
The bodies were found in the bedrooms - the two adults in one bedroom, and two teenagers in their respective rooms.
The Associated Press reported that Mr Blake, the former tennis pro, bought the five-bedroom, five-bathroom house in 2005 for $US1.5 million.
The house is in the exclusive Avila subdivision in which, according to the AP, many well-known football, baseball and tennis players own houses.
James Blake reached a high of number four in world rankings. Photo: Reuters
Los Angeles Times