Kate Winslet escapes fire; Richard Branson's Great House destroyed
The "Titanic" star and her two children (Mia, 10 and Joe, 7) were staying on Richard Branson's private isle, Necker, in the Virgin Islands when a fire broke out during a storm early Monday (Aug. 22) morning.
Winslet, her brood and 17 other guests were evacuated from the 8-bedroom Great House before the flames completely consumed the structure.
Staying with his wife and son in another building nearby, Branson blogs, "My office was based in the house and I have lost thousands of photographs and my notebooks, which is very sad. But all family and friends are well - which in the end is all that really matters."
Branson also credits Winslet with saving his 90-year-old mother: "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 cause of the fire has yet to be determined, but lightning seems to head the list of suspects.