The Hurricane Irene has brought devastation in its path and has got a high profile victim as well. Richard Branson, the Virgin tycoon owns a house on 74 acre Necker island in the Caribbean where he was holidaying with family and friends. His private compound valued at $100 million was burned to the ground after it was struck by lightning and battered by winds. They had to evacuate in the early hours but everyone is reported to be safe including his 90 year old mother and guest actress Kate Winslet. The fire had not been controlled till the reports last came in from the private island.
The lightning storm had generated winds up to 90mph and the compound was hit by lightning at 4 in the morning. The main house on the compound was destroyed by the fire. Branson’s office in the house was also destroyed along with thousands of photographs and notebooks. Branson was talking to the media and expressed the hope that he would rebuild the house as soon as possible. He said that he had wonderful staff there and he would like them to stay back and work. He hoped that he would be able to create something even more special out of the ruins.
Talking about the incident he elaborated that there were about 20 residents at the time of the disaster. It was his son and nephew who rushed to the house as soon as the lightning struck and helped evacuate everyone before any serious damage could be done. On a lighter note he thanked Kate Winslet who helped bring his 90 year old mother out of the house to safety and wondering all the time when the director will say cut. He was thankful for the fact that all his friends and family were safe and came out unscathed from the disaster.