"This place is going to burn like tinder and there is nothing we can do to stop it"

Typically, the great house of a Caribbean plantation would have been built largely of wood.

See Jill Fergus's article for Forbes Traveller magazine and the Jamaican National Trust Great House pages.

According to Rhys's autobiography, her family's Gebeva estate house was burned down by former slaves soon after emancipation, but some doubt has been cast on the authenticity of this claim: see Peter Hulm 'The Locked Heart: The Creole Family Romances of Wide Sargasso Sea' in Colonial Discourse/Postcolonial Theory.