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Another Nashville teenager has lost her life just days away from her birthday. Last year, it was 18-year-old Maria Oza Gonzales. This year, it was 15-year-old Dalia Perez.
Young Dalia died in an early morning house fire last Thursday. She had already saved her 11-year-old sister Samantha and was going back in to rescue others.
Dalia was a student at Overton High School. The Saturday before the fire, she was celebrating her "sweet 15" birthday party, also known as a quinceañera, with friends and family.
Donations are being accepted for family members who lost everything in the fire. Ages and sizes and donation details are in this WSMV report and in this e-mail from Ruben de Pena of Metro Nashville Public Schools Student Services.
WKRN reported that more than 100 people came to a vigil Friday night outside the home. A Facebook page set up to honor Dalia indicates that a funeral will be held today at 4pm and a memorial will be held Tuesday at 1pm at the Sagrado Corazon church.
The morning after the fire, the Tennessean published an above-the-fold, front-page story about the fire and Dalia's tragic death. Reporting were Chris Echegaray and Andy Humbles, with this powerful lede:
Dalia Perez wore a purple gown on Saturday to her quinceañera, the celebration of a girl's 15th birthday in Hispanic culture, marking the transition from childhood to womanhood.Video from WKRN:
On Thursday, she acted like an adult, racing into an inferno to save her 11-year-old sister from the blaze that consumed their home at 4563 Artelia Drive in Antioch.