Cool, sexy, and rich, he may have classy air travel down and might even bring space travel to the masses, but Sir Richard Branson is still susceptible to the elements. On Monday, August 22, Branson’s Great House on his private Necker Island, which he rents out as an ultra-luxury hotel, burned to the ground. Oh yeah, and Kate Winslet was in there. (Yes, we’re resisting every urge to talk about what a titanic catastrophe it was.)
Tropical Storm Irene (later upgraded to a hurricane) hit the Virgin Islands Sunday and early Monday. It’s supposed that lightning very well may have started the fire.
Image: Necker Island
Winslet and her children, along with about 20 other guests, all escaped the fire without incident. Branson and his family were staying in another house about 100 yards away when the fire broke out. His son Sam, 25, reportedly helped bring guests to safety. Though nobody was hurt, there were casualties of the fire, according to Richard Branson:
My office was based in the house and I have lost thousands of photographs which is very sad
Yes, Richard Branson, we’re all very upset for you. Now why don’t you go and have your afternoon Spanish doubloon-bath.