According to Branson and as reported by the Associated Press, 20 people were staying at his eight-bedroom Great House on Necker, his private isle in the British Virgin Islands, when a blaze was sparked during a lightning and wind storm. Among those 20 guests? Winslet and her two children, Mia, 10, and Joe, 7, who got out of the house safely with help from Branson’s 25-year-old son Sam. Other vacationers who were staying in the house and escaped injury included Branson’s 90-year-old mother and the magnate’s daughter, Holly.
Branson, his wife Joan and son Sam had been staying in a separate property 100 yards away.
The Virgin Group chairman said the house was totally destroyed but that he plans to rebuild.
The important thing, of course, is that no one was hurt. We’ve all seen Winslet confront disastrous situations on film and frankly, we’d prefer that the Oscar winner’s near brushes with death remain confined to the fictional realm.