Kate Winslet carried Richard Branson's mother from fire

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The Independent Online

Kate Winslet carried Richard Branson's mother to safety after a fire broke out at the British businessman's Caribbean home.

The 'Titanic' actress - who was one of 20 guests staying at Richard's house on his privately-owned Necker Island, along with her boyfriend Louis Dowler, and her two children Mia, 10, and seven-year-old Joe - picked up 90-year-old Eve in her arms and led her away from the blaze in the early hours of yesterday (22.08.11), and the Virgin boss has praised her actions.

He told The Sun newspaper: "Many thanks to Kate Winslet. It was she who carried my mother out of the house. She swept her up into her arms and got them out of the house as fast as possible.

"My mum is 90 and can walk but it was more to speed the process up than anything else. But Kate was great.

"She said it was like being in a film set where you're waiting for the words 'cut' but they just don't come. It was quite surreal for her to be in a real-life situation like that."

The 61-year-old businessman's son Sam, 26, and nephew Jack rushed over to the house to help evacuate all of the guests, which included Sam's 29-year-old sister Holly, and luckily nobody was hurt, but the Great House was "destroyed" and Richard lost thousands of photographs and treasured mementos.

He added: "We had a tropical storm with winds up to 90mph. A big lightning storm came around 4am and hit the house. My son Sam and nephew Jack rushed to the house and helped get everyone out.

"Around 20 people were in the house and they all managed to get out and they are all fine.

"The main house is destroyed and the fire is not yet completely out.

"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."

Richard - who was staying at a villa 100 yards away from the fire with his wife Joan - admitted he wants to rebuild the Great House as soon as possible.

He explained: "It was a beautiful house. But we'll create something even more special out of the ruins."

Source: Bang Showbiz