London: Kate Winslet turned out to be a true Hollywood heroine as she carried Sir Richard Branson’s 90-year-old mother Eve to safety after a fire sparked by lightning ravaged Virgin boss’ Caribbean home.
Winslet and her children were among the VIP guests, who had to run away from Sir Branson’s posh Great House on Necker, and his 60-million-pound private island, when it was struck by the lightning during the romping of a 90mph Hurricane Irene.
Apart from Winslet and her kids, was also present Branson’s 29-year-old daughter Holly in the 20-member party.
Branson, 61, was staying in another villa, which is around 100 yards away, with his wife Joan and son Sam and was said to have run naked towards the flames shortly after the fire broke early morning.
“Around 20 people were in the house and they all managed to get out and they are all fine,” the Daily Mail quoted Branson as telling ITV News.
“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.
“Sam heard explosions in the main house and raised the alarm. He and my nephew Jack rushed to the house and helped get everyone out.
“Kate Winslet, her boyfriend and her family were there and Holly and some of her friends were also staying. My mother was there and they managed to get her out and she is fine,” he said.
While talking about Winslet’s effort to save his mother, Branson was all praise.
“It was she who carried my mother out of the house. She said it was like being on a film set where you’re waiting for the words “cut” but they just don’t come. So it was quite surreal for her to be in a real-life situation,” he said.
“She carried my Mum out of the house. My Mum is 90 and can walk but it was more just to speed the process up than anything else but anyway, she was great. She swept her up into her arms and got them out of the house as fast as possible,” he added.