Graduation plans continue despite Lanham building fire


A fire has changed the life of Jennifer Baires, a graduate of Parkdale High School in Prince George’s County, but one thing won’t change. She will cross the stage.

Graduating seniors often look forward to the day when they walk down the aisle and receive their degrees or diplomas.

For one high school student, over Memorial Day weekend, it was feared that a fire at the Lilly Garden apartments in Lanham, Maryland had burned down a key item needed for her graduation ceremony – the gown.

“The fire destroyed everything. I had planned my accessories, what to wear and everything. I was really happy,” said Jennifer Baires, a senior from Parkdale High School in Prince George’s County.

Baires told OMCP that she was able to pick up her dress on Tuesday.

CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE: A high school girl’s graduation gown was spared after a fire at her apartment complex in Lanham over the weekend. (Courtesy of Jennifer Baires)

“We had to speak with the apartment manager and they let us in just to let them know. So I feel more relieved, since I released this. And a couple of [other] things, since it was so fast. We could only get in for a few minutes,” she said.

Baires said his family was planning a big party on Saturday to mark the milestone, but they had to scale it down a bit.

“I’m just glad my family and I are safe,” she said, noting that instead of a bigger party, they could “buy a cupcake and just celebrate. [graduation] with my family, since we are staying with my aunt.

“We could just [celebrate] with his children and everything. Just a little cake, but it won’t be like we thought. »

Baires graduated from Parkdale on Thursday, less than seven days after the fire turned her life and that of her family upside down.

She told OMCP that her plans for next year remain the same.

“I had planned to work. I was going to go to college… That’s always the plan,” she said.

Baires plans to attend Prince George’s Community College and find a job to help his family pay for household expenses, “but now, sad to say, we don’t have a house at the moment.”

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