Ronald McDonald House damaged by broken water pipe - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Ronald McDonald House damaged by broken water pipe

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The freezing temperatures this week caused water pipes to burst, leaving a big mess at the Ronald McDonald House near Vanderbilt University.

Much of the damage came after a sprinkler head in the attic ruptured. There was standing water throughout much of the building, and even more poured through the ceilings.

"So it really flooded the attic, and there was water about that deep in our attic. And it had to come through, so it came through all the light fixtures, all the sprinkler heads - every place it could - down the walls, and so it was pretty bad," said executive director Liz Piercy. "Literally, it sounded like a river. To me it did. Just water everywhere."

Even more frustrating, the ordeal was one more thing on the plate of families already going through difficult times.

"The families that we serve are staying with us because their children are sick and in the hospital here in Nashville. And so they're already in a crisis, and now we've added to their crisis because they're displaced and not having a place to stay," Piercy said.

"So being able to be here for 30 days, that saves so much money, so much hassle, because when you have a child in the hospital, you're constantly going. There's no in-between," said Nicole Barrie, Ronald McDonald House client.

Seventeen rooms were damaged, so that means 17 families were displaced.

Some were able to go home, while hospitals and other care facilities are helping to provide places to stay for the others.

Workers say if you'd like to help, the best way is with money. They have to replace 34 twin beds, all the carpeting, plus ceiling tiles and repair walls.

If you'd like to donate, contact information for the Ronald McDonald House is available here: http://www.rmhcnashville.com/.

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