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Person of the Week: Metro Detroit plumber helps families in unbearable conditions

Posted: 7:27 AM, Sep 04, 2017
Updated: 2017-09-04 12:37:04Z

Several metro Detroit families were facing unbearable living conditions because of nightmare plumbing problems. But Nick Martin wasn’t going to stand by to watch.

The 37-year-old from Wyandotte owns Martin’s Excavating based out of Riverview.
WXYZ came in contact with Nick after he fixed three nightmare plumbing projects…for free.

DEARBORN HEIGHTS DISASTER

The most recent job involved the Dedrich family of Dearborn Heights.

“We have one bathroom, and they left us with a hole in the floor where the toilette was,” said Heather Dedrich when interviewed recently by 7 Action News Reporter Ameera David about a company that left a plumbing job at their home unfinished.

“They came in and did some vacuum truck [work] to suck out some of the sewage, and said they used up the majority of their funds, and they never came back,” recalled Dedrich.

The company left the home’s only toilette in the hallway and dropped of a port-o-potty in their driveway – which the family used for about 3 months!

Dedrich said she paid the plumbing company more than $5,300 – funds dispersed by a judge from a trust fund set up to help the family care for their son Christopher -- who has autism.

But the plumbers abandoned the project midway -- citing unforeseen complications requiring thousands more dollars the family did not have.

“What happened was there was raw sewage coming out,” said Nick Martin pointing at a vent by the crawl space under the house where you could still see remnants of wet toilette paper in the grass.

Nick Martin was called in to assess the problem and saw that the conditions were practically unlivable.

“The [family] kind of put their head down, and they told me the story. And their boy who is autistic came outside crying. So, at that point I just felt like…you know what? I got to make it right for them,” he said.

His crew got the Dedrich’s plumbing working again in about a day.

"I want to say thank you. I can't thank Nick enough. What he did for my family is truly a blessing,” said Heather Dedrich.

A TAYLOR PLUMBING NIGHTMARE

Earlier this August, we also reported about sewage backups at a Taylor home.

“It was disgusting, you can see damage all along the heating system here,” said Samantha Goins pointing to several areas in the basement laundry room that had been affected.

She told our Taking Action Team that an unlicensed contractor’s faulty plumbing fix left them living in filth.  It was a heartbreaking situation -- especially with a 2-year-old in the house.

When Nick Martin heard about it, he and his team stepped in to fix the problem for the family of three.

CHRISTMAS GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING

He saw another Taylor famiy’s plight posted on facebook this past December. 

Martin said she was a widow with three children who was facing a court-ordered eviction due to unsanitary living conditions because of a previous contractor's blunders.

After talking with her, he called up his team to fix the problem on Christmas Eve!

He even received a proclamation from the city of Taylor for the heroic act of generosity.

“I drug my equipment out there that night. [The Taylor Fire Department] brought the fire trucks, the ambulance, the police cars. They lit the whole block up. I brought 8 trucks there. So, we had a convoy of trucks,” recalled Martin.

His team donned Santa hats and worked through the night -- free of charge -- repairing the mess by 10:00 on Christmas morning.

“I don't like to see people getting taken advantage of, and if I have the opportunity to help that person, I'm going to do,” said Martin

In all Martin says his company has donated more than $23,000 in services since December to help these families. The recipients of his help are beyond grateful.

His inspiring generosity in helping others is why Nick Martin is this week’s Detroit 2020 Person of the Week.

If you would like to nominate a Detroit 2020 Person of the Week, please email Alicia Smith at asmith@wxyz.com.  Please explain why and how your nominee inspires people, or builds unity in the community, or how he or she acts to make metro Detroit a better place.