Fire Destroys Richard Branson’s Island Retreat
The fire which destroyed Richard Branson’s main house on his private island ‘Necker’ was likely caused by lightning from the tropical storm Irene. The storm ravaged through the Virgin Islands and moved into Puerto Rico late Sunday and early Monday with winds around 130 km/h. Kate Winslet was staying on the property at the time with her boyfriend & two children. On Branson’s blog he credits Winslet for saving his 90 year old mother from the fire….”and many thanks to Kate Winslet for helping to carry my 90 year old mum out of the main house.”
“Thank you for all your kind messages after the fire on Necker,” Branson wrote on his blog. “We’re thankful that everyone is ok. Around 20 people were in the house and they all managed to get out and they are all fine.” Branson and his family were staying about 100 metres away from the main house in another structure when the fire broke out. The island is said to be worth upwards of $70 million and Branson plans on rebuilding the destroyed structures as soon as possible. He purchased the island in the early 1980s and built the Great House in 1982. ‘Necker Island’ was also available for rent with rates starting at $54,500/night.