Like many of our friends and neighbors, we learned recently about the tragic circumstances that resulted in the deaths of two heroic Wilmington Firefighters, Captain Christopher Leach and Lieutenant Jerry Fickes, as they were battling a fire in the Canby Park community in the early morning hours of September 24th, 2016.
All American Roofing Company has operated from offices in northern Delaware since 1989, and many of our employees are long-standing residents of Talleyville, Claymont and Brandywine Hundred.
When one of our All American Roofing Company team members, Project Estimator / Manager Charlie Granger, learned that Firefighter Christopher Leach had served out of the Talleyville Fire Company and the Claymont Fire Company.
Through the Tallyeville Fire Company Charlie was told that Captain Leach left behind 3 children who live with their mother Kelli Zullo, in Wilmington. Charlie contacted Kelli Zullo, herself a New Castle County Emergency Medical Technician, to ask how we might be able to help, and learned that the family was in need of a new roof for quite some time but had not been able to fund the project.
On Monday November 7th, with the generous help of our vendors and partners, All American Roofing Company installed a new, shingled roof at the home of Captain Leach’s children in Wilmington. There was no cost to Captain Leach’s family.
To make this goodwill effort possible, All American Roofing Company sought the help of our manufacturer vendors and suppliers – and the response was overwhelmingly positive. Shingle manufacturer GAF donated high quality HD shingles, distributor Allied Building Materials donated a variety of materials, RBS Enterprises has donated a dumpster and the dump fee, Lifetime Tool & Building Products donated Ultimate Pipe collars and the sleeves for iron pipes, Collins Supply and SG Williams provided materials, the City of Wilmington has waived permit fees – and one of our finest All American Roofing installation crews performed the complete professional installation.
It was our sincere privilege to be a part of an initiative to do something for the family of a fallen hero in our community. Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the families of Captain Leach, Lieutenant Fickes… and those of Senior Firefighter Ardyth Hope and Firefighter Brad Speakman, who were injured battling the Canby Park blaze.
A newspaper article summed up the heroic efforts of these brave members of our community this way:
“As is too often the case, it has taken a tragedy to remind us that heroes are not comic book or movie characters. They do not seek or bask in any spotlight.
They seek only to help others. To them, it is not a job. It is their life’s passion.
Heroism is not a physical gift. It is an all-too-rare psychological strength – the ability to recognize when others are in danger and confront that danger head-on. Most of us flee danger. Heroes face it with calm and poise, all in the name of holding suffering and sadness at bay.
They do not need to be told that others need help. It is their instinct. And when the work is done and the danger has passed, the heroes retreat quietly, knowing full well that danger will emerge in another form or fashion within hours or even minutes.
Christopher Leach and Jerry Fickes are heroes. Their sacrifice will not soon be forgotten.
The Wilmington Fire Department has established a GoFundMe Fundraising page to raise donations to support the families of these heroic members of our community. If you are inspired to support them, please CLICK HERE TO DONATE TO THE WFD LODD FUND