Money drying up for Belle Plaine apartment residents displaced by broken sprinkler

Nearly 40 people were forced from their homes after water damaged their apartment building in Belle Plaine, Minn. Money for temporary shelter will run out at the end of the week, and that could leave some of them homeless for the second time.

The Hometown Inn and Suites has become Brad Jones' home away from home, and even though the motel is somewhere to hang the few belongings Jones was able to grab, he may not be able to stay much longer.

"Grateful, I'm out of the weather, but scared how long I can hold on," he said.

Jones is one of the nearly 40 tenants evacuated from the Cardinal Ridge Apartments after a sprinkler line in the attic burst and flooded the 3-story building. The Red Cross, Salvation Army and Scott County social services are paying for those who don't have family and friends to stay at the motel until Saturday, but after that, as many as 10 tenants won't have anywhere to go.

Construction crews are drying out the building and repairing the damage, but some tenants may have to go homeless shelters until they can return to their apartments in 4 to 6 weeks.

Jones has multiple sclerosis and finding a temporary place he can afford that's also handicap-accessible is yet another challenge in a week that's been full of them.

Boessler Management in Byron, Minn. said it is working with its insurance company to refund the tenants rent and reimburse them for any out-of-pocket expenses their displacement has caused, but that won't come in time to help the tenants find somewhere to stay by Saturday.

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