Kate Winslet 'paranoid' about fires after Necker Island blaze

Kate Winslet arrives at the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Kate Winslet arrives at the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards in 2012 (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

Kate Winslet has admitted she fears house fires after she and her family were caught up in the blaze on Sir Richard Branson’s Caribbean island in 2011.

The Titanic actress, her two older children and her now husband Ned Smith were staying on Necker Island nine years ago when lightning hit the Virgin boss’s luxurious house and started a fire.

They fled along with several other people at the property, with reports at the time saying that Winslet helped get Branson’s elderly mother to safety.

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According to the Daily Mail, Winslet has said she still feels the impact of the blaze today.

“That was probably the biggest crisis that I've ever faced,” she told Candis magazine.

“It obviously makes you more anxious, and I'm now paranoid about house fires, which I didn't used to be.”

Actress Kate Winslet, right, arrives with  boyfriend Ned Rocknroll at the 'Titanic 3D' UK film premiere at the Royal Albert Hall in Kensington, West London, Tuesday, March 27, 2012. The re-launch of the Titanic 3D version comes 15 years after the film was a huge box office hit. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)
Kate Winslet and Ned Smith at the 'Titanic 3D' UK film premiere at the Royal Albert Hall in 2012. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)

The star, whose husband is Branson’s nephew, said since the blaze she is always checking that she has switched off appliances.

She said: “I'll constantly make sure I've turned off the stove, blown out all the candles, I'm always unplugging hairdryers and hot tongs and checking them obsessively three times to make sure that yes, I really did unplug them and I really did switch them off.

“It does have an impact on you.”

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At the time of the blaze, Winslet was just dating Smith but they went on to get married the following year.

She said when the fire started, he showed his practical side while she “grabbed a bra and the family passports”.

Winslet has three children - 19-year-old daughter Mia with her ex Jim Threapleton, 16-year-old son Joe with film director Sam Mendes and six-year-old son Bear with Smith.