Tributes to 'superstar' model found dead in flat after fire broke out above restaurant on New Year's Day | The Sun

TRIBUTES have been paid to a "superstar" ex-model found dead in a fire above a restaurant in London.

Sofia Duarte, 21, was discovered in a third-floor flat after the blaze broke out on New Year's Day on Old Kent Road.

Tributes have now flooded in for the former model, who also worked as a bartender.

Kyle Steward, 21, told The Standard: “She was such a superstar, she kept me going, if I was down I would call her and she would kick me up the a**e.

“She was wild, funny and knew how to live.

“She loved style, she loved travelling and had been modelling in Dubai, she loved the warm weather out there and was always back and forth from Lisbon.

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“She was a good babysitter when we needed her she would act like a mother. She was the perfect person and I’m devastated she is gone. I haven’t slept.”

Kyle said Sofia dreamed of being a prison officer andwanted to help inmates with their rehabilitation.

A GoFundMe has now been launched to help Sofia's family with her funeral.

Family friend Alda Simoes said: "Our Sofia was the light in every room or party and no day was the same as another, as Sofia lived life to the fullest.

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"For everyone that knew Sofia, knows that Sofia loved her family dearly and she had so many friends and so many stories to tell as she grown into the beautiful young lady that she was and always will be for anyone that loves her."

The fire broke out at one of the flats above Nigerian restaurant Calabar Zone on Sunday.

A joint investigation has been launched between the police and fire service to investigate the cause of the blaze.

A Met Police spokesperson said: "Police were called to Old Kent Road, SE1, shortly before 17.00hrs on Sunday, 1 January to reports of a fire.

"Officers attended along with London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service. Residents were evacuated and road closures were put in place.

"Sadly, one woman, believed to be in her 20s, died at the scene.

"A crime scene has been put in place. Enquiries as to the cause of the fire are ongoing."

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