Kate Winslet Helps Escapees As Lightning Torches Branson Home

Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet was among guests forced to flee after a fire sparked by a lightning strike swept through Richard Branson's opulent home on the tycoon's private Caribbean island. The actress was staying at the Great House on Necker Island when a huge blaze broke out at approximately 4:00 a.m. today, DAILY MAIL reports.

Winslet carried Branson's 90-year-old mother Eve out of The Great House on Necker Island as the flames took hold in the early hours of the morning. Lightning from hurricane Irene set the island's Great House on fire, with Branson's son Sam and nephew Jack rushing over to raise the alarm and ensure everybody got out safely.

The group was staying at the eight-bedroomed Great House, situated at the highest point of the Caribbean island, when it was struck by lightening during a tropical storm at 4am. “Kate Winslet, her boyfriend and her family were there and [my daughter] Holly and some of her friends were also staying,” said Branson, who was staying at a different residence on the island.

“My mother was there and they managed to get her out and she is fine.” Branson's 29-year-old daughter Holly was also forced to flee the flames. A spokesman for Virgin said today: "In the early hours of this morning, a fire took place on Necker Island, causing substantial damage to the Great House.

Sir Richard said about 20 people were staying in the eight-bedroom Great House on Necker, his private isle in the British Virgin Islands. The fire is still raging in the building.

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