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'Puerto Rican Beyonce' dies in New York blaze

Friends pay tribute to 'talented' trans performer who died after suspicious fire broke out in her Brooklyn apartment
Lorena Escalera was described as the 'Puerto Rican Beyonce'
Photo by Facebook

Friends and fans have paid loving tribute to a transgender performer, described as the 'Puerto Rican Beyonce', who died in a blaze in New York.

Lorena Escalera was found dead by firefighters in the early hours of Saturday (12 May) after a fire which broke out in her apartment engulfed the four-storey building in Brooklyn.

According to the New York Times, it took 65 firefighters over 30 minutes to tackle the blaze, which is now being treated as suspicious.

The 25-year-old, who performed with the House of Xtravaganza and went by the stage name La'reina Xtravaganza, described herself on Facebook as an 'outgoing', 'intelligent' and 'very honest' person who enjoys life with family and 'true friends'.

The performer's Facebook page has been flooded with tributes from friends and fans.

'Sleep in peace beautiful angel, you were born on this Earth to achieve so much in little time that left an impression that surpasses the years you were on earth,' wrote Baron Eshu La Croix.

He added: 'Your legacy will always shine the way you did on this Earth.'

Friend Jazmin Soto described her as 'amazing' and 'wonderful'.

She said: 'You so showed me that you are more then just a pretty face but smart, talented and told me you have to show the world and I know you will still show the world how much you have.

'You're still here with us. I won't ever let you go.'

Celebrity designer Bobby Trendy, who gained notoriety as a regular on the Anna Nicole Show, also paid homage to a 'forever young and beautiful' woman.

He said: 'You will not be forgotten by people whom you have touched their lives with your talent, your warm smile and your vivacsiousness.'

The club where she once wowed audiences with her Beyonce impersonation held a candle-lit vigil for Escalera outside her apartment last night.

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