Shingles And Security

Atlas Helps Provide New Roof For Army Vet Battling Cancer

G.K. Sharman, Writer
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One day in late summer 2017, Eric Fondren noticed a leak in his roof. Leaks are always annoying, but Fondren’s roof was barely a year old. It should have been in perfect shape.

He called Witten Construction in West Monroe, LA, to do the repairs. But Steve Thompson, the sales manager and contractor, immediately saw that Fondren had a much bigger problem: “That roof was just completely installed all wrong.”

The previous roofers had done a terrible job. Worse, they had overcharged for their shoddy work – all while Fondren, an Army veteran, was battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia and driving back and forth from his home in West Monroe to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Thompson felt the previous roofers’ behavior just wasn’t right, so he reached out to Blake Carroll, the Atlas Roofing sales representative for the area, to see how the two companies could get the Fondrens – Eric and his wife Virginia and their 10-year-old son Alec – the roof they needed.

‘All Around Scam Job’

When Thompson arrived, he realized that he couldn’t just repair the leak. Though he was able to stop the water from coming in for a while, he knew that what Fondren really needed was a new roof.

The previous company “did not pop (chalk) lines (to make sure the shingle courses were straight),” he said. “They nailed in the rain grooves, the valleys were not completed, edges were not cut and pipe boots were not roofed around correctly. All around (it was) a scam job!”

The original installation was done during the time Fondren was preoccupied with his health. In addition to receiving chemo, he was occasionally admitted to the ICU for complications, Carroll said.

“The contractor that did the work did a terrible job,” he said “(Fondren’s) roof is barely a year old and in worse shape than it was originally. Steve Thompson offered to do a full roof replacement free of charge, alongside some other volunteers in the community. Steve asked us if we would be able to help in any way with donating materials. This story has already touched many people with Steve and Witten Construction’s kind gesture and I feel it’s time to do our part as well.”

No More Leaks

Thompson and Carroll moved quickly to set things right for Fondren, who had no idea how bad the previous installation had been and could not afford to pay for a new asphalt roof just a year after the first one.

Atlas donated 32 squares of Pinnacle® Pristine shingles in Weathered Wood and three rolls of Summit® 60 underlayment. Witten Construction provided the Atlas Pro-Cut® starter shingles and Pro-Cut® Hip & Ridge shingles, as well as the labor. The crew even did some drywall patching on the inside.

The installation took place in September 2017 and was completed in two days.

Protection With A Happy Ending

Thompson says the day he met Fondren – Sept. 2, 2017 – is the day Fondren found out he was cancer free.

“Eric and his family are the kind of people who have always helped others,” Thompson said. “Eric kept asking me why I would do this for him and all I could say is that God led me to him and put this burden on my heart so I wanted to help him.”

Atlas stepped in to help give Fondren some positive memories.

“Let’s help him clear his mind of all the bad experiences he has recently had with roofing contractors and the materials used on his home,” Carroll said.

Thompson said he still stays in touch with the Fondrens. He’s also grateful to Atlas for its help on the project.

“I know in my heart that Atlas would donate again in the future,” Thompson said. “I just cannot express my appreciation for all that Atlas has done for this family and my company here at Witten Construction.”

For more information about Atlas roof shingles and other roofing supplies, visit the Atlas Roofing website.