Young Woman Perishes in Brooklyn Fire

By Jess Wisloski and Alissa Ambrose  on May 12, 2012 2:20pm  | Updated on May 12, 2012 10:52pm

A fire at 47 Furman Ave. in Bushwick at 4 a.m. killed a young woman on Saturday, May 12, 2012.
A fire at 47 Furman Ave. in Bushwick at 4 a.m. killed a young woman on Saturday, May 12, 2012.
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Jeancarlos Mejia

A young woman was killed early Saturday morning when an intense fire broke out at 47 Furman Ave. in Brooklyn, police said.

The FDNY received a call at 4 a.m. about flames engulfing the four-story building, according to a spokesman, who said the department responded with 60 firefighters at least 12 trucks to take the fire down.

By 4:37 a.m. the fire was under control, but rescuers found one person dead on the third floor, where the fire had started.

Saturday night police identified the victim as Lorena Escalera, 25, who lived in apartment #3.

One neighbor said she went by Lorena Xtravaganza, and might have been a drag performer.

Gary Hernandez, a casual friend, also knew the victim, and thought she was an entertainer.

"She was cool, she never bothered nobody," he said. "That's messed up to hear."

On a Facebook page for Lorena "La'reina" Xtravaganza, several friends had posted condolences early Saturday evening.

"Wow, I'm so sad, I'm such a fan. This really touched me... r.i.p. you will be missed," wrote one fan named Sergio Mateo.

Earlier in the afternoon, a pile of building rubble nested among personal belongings littered the courtyard space on the side of the building.

A piece of gold-sequined cloth peeked out of a plastic bag overflowing with clothes, while a black pair of 5-inch tall platform high heels perched in a pile of finished wood.

A crumpled black handbag with brass detailing sat atop another pile, while a single pink-sequined shirt dangled from a busted air conditioning unit.

A few Norweigan coins were scatted across the ground, along with a pair of haircutting shears, a brass bracelet, a mascara bottle, and melted CD-Rs.

Underneath a pile of burned wood, a large, feathery red boa poked out on either end.

Fire officials said the site was still being investigated, and they had not yet determined if the fire, which started on the third-floor, was at all suspicious.

The medical examiner's office said an autopsy would not be conducted until Sunday to determine the cause of death.

The belongings thrown from a third-floor unit at 47 Furman Ave., after an early morning fire on May 12, 2012.
The belongings thrown from a third-floor unit at 47 Furman Ave., after an early morning fire on May 12, 2012.
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DNAinfo/Alissa Ambrose

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