Community raising money for two ODU international students who jumped from burning apartment building


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The community is rallying to help the victims of a massive condominium fire in Norfolk. The Lafayette Cove Condominiums on Mayflower Road went up in flames Thursday morning.

The fire destroyed everything in its path, the building itself, cars and anything nearby.

It also destroyed everything two international ODU students brought to America. The pair jumped from their window that morning to safety, but now are left with nothing.

In the early morning hours on Thursday, international ODU students Andrea and Stados Zurous made the difficult decision to jump for their lives when their apartment went up in flames.

They went to the hospital with injuries.

The entire building quickly was engulfed in flames. The blaze destroyed all of their schoolwork and international paperwork.

“That’s when we kind of started looking together to see what would be the best plan of action to get the resources to them that they need,” said Kasie Reyes, deputy director of international programs with Old Dominion University’s Center for Global Engagement.

She said when she heard of the fire, she jumped into action, creating a GoFundMe to help the Zurous siblings get back on their feet.

“I set it up, just kind of thinking that it would be mostly ODU people who really wanted to support the students, and it kind of went a lot further than that,” she said.

In four days, the fundraiser has $20,000 and is growing with donations from all over including the siblings’ hometown in Athens, Greece.

Don Stansbury is in contact with the brother-sister pair.

“They expect full recovery, which is great. Good spirits. very gracious, and appreciative of the care and support that they’ve been receiving,” he said.

Stansbury said he knows they lost their possessions in the fire, but hope they feel the family they’ve gained since.

“We are fortunate that they will be able to complete their semester and be on track. But also, I think, very proud of our campus community and local community and everyone that’s that stepped up to support these two in their family,” said Don.

The American Red Cross did assist in the aftermath of the fire, and there are other community groups working to help each other.

If you would like to donate to the GoFundMe for the Zurous siblings, click here.

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