Posted on Mon Aug 22, 2011 01:10 PM PDT
A fun vacation turned frightening for Kate Winslet over the weekend.
The actress, 35, her two kids Mia, 10, and Joe, 7, and boyfriend Louis Dowler were four of the 20 people staying on billionaire Sir Richard Branson's private Necker Island when the vacation home caught fire.
Branson, 61, was staying in a nearby house about 100 yards away with his wife Joan and son Sam. Kate escaped unharmed, but the eight-bedroom Great House was destroyed. The fire was still burning on Monday.
In a statement, the Virgin executive said:
- "We had a really bad tropical storm with winds up to 90 miles per hour. A big lightning storm came around 4 a.m. and hit the house. My son Sam rushed to the house and helped get everyone out."
Branson hopes to rebuild as soon as possible. "We have a wonderful staff here and we want them to stay in work," he says. "We'll all stay here for the time being. There's a lot of damage and we won't be able to stick it back together again right away. It was a beautiful house."
The private Caribbean home is the same place Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo were married last month.
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