Kate Winslet carried the Virgin Boss’ 90 year old mother away from the flames and smoke and so saved her life.
Just in case you thought this was some small fire yesterday and no-one was really in danger, take a look at the photo below. That’s all that remains of the luxury house on the private Caribbean island of Necker today. It has been razed to the ground.
The multi-million pound Great House on Necker, the Virgin tycoon’s £60million private island, caught fire after it was struck by lightning in the early hours of Monday morning when the region was battered by Hurricane Irene.
The tycoon revealed that as his family and around 20 guests had to flee for their lives the Oscar-winning actress. Kate Winslet carried Branson’s 90-year-old mother Eve to safety.
Winslet and her two children were among the guests staying at the wood and stone mansion who had to escape in their night clothes.
Sir Richard Branson said that brave Winslet acted like a true Hollywood heroine. She picked up Branson’s 90-year-old mother Eve into her arms and helped carry her to safety as the mansion was falling down around them.
There were 20 people in the Branson party. His daughter, Holly (29), had been due to marry at the eight-bedroom property, that offers stunning views of white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. Her wedding should have been taking place there on November 20.
Sir Richard Branson (61), was in another villa on the property, around 100 yards away with his wife Joan and son Sam when the fire broke out. Apparently, eye witnesses saw him run naked towards the flames shortly after 4am.
It was Sam (25) who raised the alarm with Branson after hearing explosions. He also bravely rushed inside to help rescue guests. Fortunately there were no injuries but the villa was completely destroyed.
“We had a really bad tropical storm with winds up to 90mph. A big lightning storm came around 4am and hit the house. It took hold incredibly quickly, with flames 100ft high. It ripped through the house very quickly.”
In thanking Kate Winslet, Branson explained that his 90 year old mother can walk but that speed was essential in escaping the flames and smoke. So Winslet picked her up and carried her.
Kate Winslet, who won an Oscar for her role in the 2008 movie The Reader, has a daughter Mia, ten, from her first marriage to Jim Threapleton, and a son, Joe, seven, by second husband, director Sam Mendes, from whom she is separated. She is believed to be dating model Louis Dowler.