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Kate Winslet opens up about island blaze ordeal

Actress Kate Winslet has spoken of her relief after her family escaped the fire which ripped through Richard Branson's luxury Necker Island home on Sunday (21Aug11).

The Titanic actress and 20 other guests were holidaying at the tycoon's Caribbean retreat in the British Virgin Islands when lightening hit the wooden property, setting it ablaze.

Kate Winslet was hailed a heroine after carrying Richard Branson's frail 90-year-old mother Eve to safety as the building burned around them. All guests escaped the blaze unharmed.

The Oscar winner has now opened up about her ordeal, revealing she'll always remember the words Richard Branson offered to her two children Mia and Joe as they watched his house become consumed by the flames.

She says, "I'm just so glad that everyone is safe. And this very easily could not have been the case.

"I will never forget Richard placing his arms around both my children as we were watching the flames, and saying, 'At the end of the day, what you realise is that all that matters is the people that you love. Everything else is just stuff. And none of that stuff matters.'"

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