Virgin group founder Richard Branson's $70 million luxury home was devastated by fire caused by a lightning storm early Monday morning. This occurred as his Caribbean retreat, Necker Island, was battered by Hurricane Irene.
The eight-bedroom house was reduced to ashes, although there were no injuries or casualities. The house caught fire as guests, including Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet, slept inside.
The British business magnate revealed that as the guests fled for their lives, it was Kate who helped his 90-year-old mother to safety.
My son Sam and nephew Jack rushed to the house and helped get everyone out, and many thanks to Kate Winslet for helping to carry my 90-year-old mum out of the main house to safety, Branson stated in his Virgin Group official blog page.
Although the main house was completely destroyed, Branson made a promise to rebuild the place in time for his daughter's wedding in November.
Richard's daughter Holly Branson is due to marry shipbroker Freddie Andrews on the Necker Island beach where she and her brother grew up.
There wasn't much sleep to be had last night. We all sat together as a group of friends and family and shared stories of all the wonderful times we'd had in the house, the tycoon wrote. We all had to camp down together - grabbing duvets, blankets - anything we could find to keep us dry in the storm.
But there were also lots of giggles, not least when I tried to get some sympathy for the fact that I'd jumped out of bed naked and rushed to the Great House in pitch darkness and hurricane force winds and ran straight in to a cactus bush - the sympathy was not forthcoming for my injuries, he added.
Check out the recent images and videos of the fire below: