NORFOLK, Va. - The scene was nothing short of terrifying: Orange flames bursting from a condo fire in Norfolk last Thursday near Colonial Place. Fire crews said several residents were seen jumping several stories for their lives.
We have now learned two residents of the three-story condo complex who jumped out of a bedroom window are two students from Athens, Greece, who are attending Old Dominion University.
"They are fortunate and very lucky, and we know they are going to be okay," said Don Stansberry, Vice President of Student Engagement at ODU.
Andrea Zourou and Stratos Zouros, siblings living together, have broken bones in their spine, legs and back, according to ODU, after narrowly escaping the flames. Residents we spoke to Monday at the complex showed us a mattress the siblings used to try to land on to break the fall.
"They both had their surgeries, and they are on the mend and recovering," said Stansberry.
The international students are well known and very active on campus.
"Andrea is getting her masters in chemistry. She works on campus and is an excellent student," said Kasie Reyes, Deputy Director of International Programs.
"Stratos works as a campus ambassador. He gives tours of ODU, and he is super knowledgeable," said Reyes.
The campus community, and even the Greek community in Hampton Roads, has now come together to help get the brother and sister back on their feet as they recover.
ThisGoFundMe was also created by Reyes. It has raised more than $20,000.
"Clearly, the students are beloved in a lot of different communities," said Reyes. "We have gotten support and messages and concerns from all over and all over the world."
ODU says they will continue to rally around the siblings and offer as much support as they need with them being so far from home.
"We pride ourselves on being a campus that cares, and it was important we get these care networks set up," said Stansberry.
The cause of the fire at this time is unknown.