VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- A beloved and long-time Virginia Beach teacher was badly injured while escaping a deadly house fire on New Year’s Eve. Now his students and many others are raising thousands of dollars to help the man who they say was much more than a math teacher.
“I just kind of sat there and like teared up,” says Brooke Coppola.
“I freaked out. I was like no this can't be true,” says Bailey Fifield.
Fifield and Coppola say they were both saddened and shocked to learn Jay Lane, a beloved math teacher at First Colonial High School, was badly injured while escaping a deadly house fire with his 12-year-old son on New Year's Eve. They survived by jumping out a second story window. The home's owners were Lane’s parents John and Janet Lane and died. They too were long-time and beloved educators in Richmond.
“He's given us the education that we need to go on with life,” Fifield says. “He's done that for multiple years and we just want help give back his life.”
They're doing that by raising nearly $15,000 through the GoFundMe account they setup for Lane and his family.
“We want to give back to him what he's given us,” Fifield says. “He's helped everyone so much.”
Especially the two girls and with much more they say than just math.
“He can tell when something's wrong with you and he’ll be alright we need to talk,” Fifield says.
Lane was the only adult Coopola says she talked to when she went some tough times.
“He has given me advice on things over and over again and it's really helpful,” she says.
They hope others will keep helping them help Lane who has this to say to those who already have..
“He wants to thank his students and all of the faculty and the schools and just everyone who's pitched in to help,” Fifield says. “He said it's priceless to have the support that he's getting,” Coopola says.
Coopola and Fifield say they hope to raise $15,000 for Lane and his family through their GoFundMe account. A former student is trying to raise $10,000 through a GoFundMe account he setup as well. They ask anyone who would like to send a card to Lane to leave it at First Colonial High School by Friday.