Good Samaritan saves man's home after FOX 5 I-Team report

This is not exactly a miracle, but it's close. In 2022, the FOX 5 I-Team shared the heartbreaking story of a man whose home burned to the ground. His contractor was paid to restore it but admitted he didn't. Well, a Good Day Atlanta viewer couldn't live with what he heard.

Since March 2020, Robert Watts has been sleeping in his car, with friends, and showering at a local YMCA. After two years of homelessness, Watts told FOX 5's Dana Fowle his story, and contractor Quincy Collins was watching the news that morning. 

"I told my wife that ‘I just saw something that really touched my spirit. I think we should do something about it,’" Collins said.

Watts's insurance company estimated it would cost more than $129,000 to rebuild his DeKalb County house. He hired A Superior Contracting & Restoration to do the job. But that contractor, Tavarus Riley, never finished the work.

When asked why it had been two years since the fire and the home still wasn't completed back in November 2022, Riley said, "Because we're not finished. Things just happened."

What kind of things? "Just mishaps," he told the FOX 5 I-Team on camera. And that is as much clarity as we got. 

After that interview, Watts started to receive texts from Tarvarus Riley. He wrote, "I'm going to make this right. It's my fault." He said he was going to get to the Southvale Drive house and "start working." 

Watts said he never came back. He described to Fowle when the I-Team met him back at home what the last four years have been like for him.

"It was crazy. I was back and forth at friends' houses. Some days it got to the point to where I was sleeping in my vehicle."

FOX 5 viewers rescue this man's home and his faith in humanity. After a devastating house, a contractor who left him broke with an unfinished home, Robert Watts can now sleep again in his own home. 

Again, Collins, a Good Day viewer and owner of Complete Contracting Partners, tracked down Watts and, with his son, offered to help him rebuild. 

"This is something we tend to do on a yearly basis, not to this extent. This is by far the largest project we have taken on," Collins said.

He said much of the work had to be redone. DeKalb County records back in 2020 showed some inspections had "failed." And no records, according to a county spokesperson, showed that the first contractor ever got the job signed off on. As far as they were concerned, it was incomplete.

"There was no insulation inspection. There was no roughing inspection. None of the mechanicals. We had to pull everything off to get those inspected," Collins explained. "And once we got those things inspected there was a lot of things that was not to current code."

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But to look at it now, four years after the fire, two years after a Good Samaritan contractor showed up, your mouth will drop in surprise when you see the house's modern appointed finishes and lovely decor. There are bedrooms for the grandchildren, a beautiful kitchen for holiday meals, a TV room for entertaining. 

Watts insisted on telling the I-Team and the Good Day viewers about the angels who came to rebuild his life. But Collins said, through a tear dripping down his cheek, he can't take credit for the whole job. 

Quincy Collins

"My son, his company - it was a collab amongst all of us. My other son is one of my managers. My general manager, Earl, he spent a lot of time with Mr. Watts," he said.

After four long years, it's a home again.

"If I could pay them, God knows I would, but they didn't have to come through," Watts also said through tears. "They didn't have to come to my rescue."

The FOX 5 I-Team reached out to that first contractor, Tavarus Riley, to ask one more time why he never finished the job despite saying he would. He said the problem was "COVID and other things. You're calling me about something I am trying to put behind me."