US & Canada

Family 'shot' in burned Florida home of tennis star

This aerial photo shows the burned out home in Tampa, Florida 8 May 2014 Image copyright AP
Image caption Police say they believe the fire was intentionally started

Police have said four people found dead in a burned Florida home were shot and a gun registered to the father of the family that rented the home was found.

Officials said they were not looking for any other suspects and believed the fire had been intentionally started.

The victims had been identified by relatives as a family who rented the home from tennis star James Blake.

Mr Blake, 34, was not at the home inside a wealthy Tampa neighbourhood at the time of the fire.

He was one of the top-ranked tennis players in the world in 2006, retiring from competition in 2013 after a 14-year career.

Mr Blake had rented the $1.5m (£884,468) home in Tampa to the Campbell family for the past two years.

'Lost my family'

Investigators recovered a gun registered to Darrin Campbell, 49, who rented the home with his family, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Police said Mr Campbell had also purchased "several" petrol cans and $650 (£384) of fireworks days before the fire destroyed their home.

Police officers say they believe the fire was started on purpose but would not say how or who was responsible.

Mr Campbell had been an executive for several high-profile companies around the US and his wife, Kimberly, was a housewife. They had two children, Colin, 19, and Megan, 15.

Firefighters were called on Wednesday morning to the home. Neighbours told police they heard explosions coming from the property.

A spokeswoman for the sheriff's office said medical examinations of the deceased were under way on Thursday.

Col Donna Lusczynski said they had found gunshot wounds but had not yet determined exactly how the four people died. She added the deceased had not been formally identified but the family, who lived in the home, were unaccounted for.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption James Blake retired from professional tennis in 2013

Kimberly Campbell's father told the Associated Press news agency the family had been close-knit and successful.

"I've lost my entire family," Gordon Lambie said from his Michigan home. "It's very tough right now because I'm 1,500 miles away."

Mr Campbell had moved to Tampa more than 10 years ago to take a job with a glass container manufacturer, Mr Lambie said, and held a few additional positions before he had taken the past year off work.

William Weimer, vice-president of Phantom fireworks, confirmed Mr Campbell had bought fireworks on Sunday, describing them as the kind of fireworks usually set off in back gardens.

Mr Weimer said the fireworks could have started a fire but that it would have spread slowly.

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