Kate Winslet and her two young children escaped uninjured when a house fire during a tropical storm destroyed Richard Branson’s Caribbean home Monday.
Branson, the founder and chairman of Virgin Group, said that the fire occurred at the largest house on his private island and that Winslet carried his 90-year-old mother, Eve, to safety as the flames began to ravage the house. “She swept her up into her arms and got them out of the house as fast as possible,” Branson told Britain’s ITV News.
At the time of the incident, Branson was staying at another property on the island, while Winslet and roughly 20 other guests, including her boyfriend Louis Dowler, were staying at the main house that was destroyed, the Associated Press reports. All escaped unharmed.
Branson said that the fire broke out early Monday morning as Tropical Storm Irene smashed over the island with lightning and high winds. He added that he plans to rebuild the house, "as soon as we can."
"My office was based in the house, and I have lost thousands of photographs, which is very sad," Branson told the AP.