- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 23, 2011

LONDON (AP) - Richard Branson says Academy Award-winning actress Kate Winslet helped rescue his elderly mother from a fire that destroyed his Caribbean home.

The Virgin Group boss said about 20 people, including Winslet, her children, and his mother were staying in the 8-bedroom Great House on Necker, his private isle in the British Virgin Islands when it was struck by lightning during a tropical storm early Monday.

Branson said no one was hurt. He said in his blog that he wanted to offer “many thanks to Kate Winslet for helping to carry my 90 year (old) mum out of the main house to safety.” He joked that Winslet “was wondering when a director was going to shout ‘CUT!’”

Branson said he was staying in another property nearby with his wife Joan and son Sam.

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