Fire destroys Rubin’s house

Tennis player Chanda Rubin’s house burned down during an intense thunderstorm, and lightning was a likely cause, Lafayette fire officials said Thursday.

The 1990s tennis star was home but got out safely when the fire broke out shortly after 9 p.m. Wednesday, and nobody was hurt, Assistant Chief Jerry Delhomme said.

He said lightning may have touched off the fire, which started in the attic. Investigators were to return in daylight.

Numerous calls from Rubin’s alarm system, neighbors and Rubin herself came in within a few minutes of each other, starting at 9:07 p.m., he said.

Delhomme said trucks were at the house within minutes, and firefighters stayed for two hours.

Rubin won seven singles titles on the WTA Tour and reached as high as No. 6 in the rankings in 1996. Her best run at a Grand Slam came that year, when she reached the semifinals at the Australian Open.

She was unseeded but won the Eastbourne International tournament in 2002. Her last singles titles were in Eastbourne and Madrid in 2003, according to the WTA website.

It said the 34-year-old Rubin withdrew from a half-dozen tournaments this year because of a variety of injuries. She won only one match in the seven events she did appear in.