High School graduation turned out to be much different than how 18-year-old Emily Roth of Denville, New Jersey, had ever imagined.
Roth's family had planned to throw her a high school graduation party, but instead they were visiting her at St. Barnabas's Medical Center, where she now lies in critical condition with third-degree burns.
"She's a broken girl now. She was in such a really good place," Emily's mother, Michelle, said.
The nightmare began last weekend at Mountain Lakes Bagel & Deli, where Roth worked part-time.
An aerosol spray can reportedly fell off a shelf and rolled underneath the grill, causing an explosion.
Roth, who was working next to that grill at the time, sustained serious burns to her hands, legs, and face.
"It took every ounce of strength I had to say, 'Oh, Em, it will be OK.' Then, honestly, I excused myself and I threw up in the bathroom," her mother explained.
It's being described as a "freak accident". Health inspectors allowed the store to open the very next day, as long as employees didn't use the grill.
Family members, however, question that move…
"I absolutely understand that there's a legal angle," Michelle Roth said. "I, however, am looking at a moral angle."
Ms. Roth mentioned that Mountain Lakes Bagels was known to have safety violations, but health inspectors told her that the bagel store was "grandfathered in"
Meanwhile, Emily's bandages are beginning to be removed, but the extent of her scarring remains unknown.
Ms. Roth said Emily is deeply upset that she couldn't attend graduation, but she's looking forward to the future.
Emily plans to attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and major in engineering.