Kate Winslet escaped a nasty fire early Monday morning at Richard Branson‘s Caribbean home.
The Virgin Group boss said about 20 people, including Winslet and her children, were staying in the eight-bedroom Great House on Necker, his private isle in the British Virgin Islands.
Branson credited Winslet with saving his 90-year old mother, Eve, from the house fire.
“My mum is 90 and can walk, but it was more just to speed the process up than anything else. But anyway, she was great. She swept her up into her arms and got them out of the house as fast as possible,” said Branson.
Richard Branson released the following statement via his blog:
- “Thank you for all your kind messages after the fire on Necker. We’re thankful that everyone is ok. Around 20 people were in the house and they all managed to get out and they are all fine.
We had a tropical storm with winds up to 90mph. A big lightning storm came around 4am and hit the house. My son Sam and nephew Jack rushed to the house and helped get everyone out and many thanks to Kate Winslet for helping to carry my 90 year mum out of the main house to safety – she was wondering when a Director was going to shout CUT!
The main house is destroyed and the fire is not yet completely out. My office was based in the house and I have lost thousands of photographs and my note books which is very sad. But all family and friends are well – which in the end is all that really matters.
It’s very much the Dunkirk spirit here. We will rebuild the house as soon as we can. We have a wonderful staff here and we want them to stay in work. We’ll all stay here. There’s a lot of damage but we’ll create something even more special out of the ruins.
Thanks again for all the kind messages you have sent – they mean a lot. Currently just huddled up with family and friends in the continuing tropical storm realising what really matters in life.”
The exact cause of the fire is under investigation, but it is believed to have been caused by a lightning storm due to Hurricane Irene, with winds of about 80 mph, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.