Whew—close call.  Turns out that Kate Winslet and her children “escaped safely from an overnight fire that destroyed the Great House on billionaire Richard Branson’s private island in the British Virgin Islands” on Sunday night, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The eight-bedroom house held “twenty people, including the Oscar-winning actress, Branson’s mother, Eve, and his daughter, Holly.”  Branson, mega-billionaire and awesome hair enthusiast, was staying nearby with his wife and son.

Heck of a way for Winslet and co. to wind up their family summer vacation.

Winslet was vacationing with her 10-year-old daughter, Mia, her 7-year-old son, Joe, and her on-and-off boyfriend, British model Louis Dowler.  Winslet and husband Sam Mendes split up last year.

Branson lost an office, as well as “thousands” of pictures in the fire.

Further, Branson released a statement clarifying that “we had a really bad tropical storm with winds up to 90 miles per hour.  A big lightning storm came around 4 a.m. and hit the house.”

Branson also stated that he is set to rebuild the house as soon as possible.

“We want to rebuild the house as soon as we can… We have a wonderful staff here and we want them to stay in work. We’ll all stay here for the time being. There’s a lot of damage and we won’t be able to stick it back together again right away.  It was a beautiful house.”

What do you think of the Branson house disaster?