PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A homeless 48-year-old person is accused of burning down a fashion design and fabrication studio in Southeast Portland in April.
Investigators say Andrea Renee Cadel set fire to the Portland Garment Factory on SE 79th. The blaze destroyed the building along with all materials and projects inside. The 3-alarm fire was so dangerous it put the lives of firefighters at risk, officials said.
The fire was started in a dumpster and spread up an exterior wall of a building, which led to a 3-alarm blaze that brought nearly 100 firefighters to Southeast Portland on April 19.
Investigators with PF&R determined the fire that began around 3:30 a.m. outside the Portland Garment Factory, 408 SE 79th, was set by a person who started the fire in the dumpster, then walked away as flames began to sprout.
The fire escalated quickly and 12 people living in an apartment building next door were evacuated as the smoke and fire threatened nearby structures.
Just minutes after fire crews were ordered out of the building the roof collapsed, officials said. More than 20 of the 31 fire stations in the city responded to the scene.
No injuries were reported.
A security camera captured a person starting the fire in the dumpster.
Cadel was arrested Wednesday and faces second-degree arson and reckless burning charges. She made her first court appearance Thursday. She’s since been released from custody but is due back in court on July 1.
Neighbors said the factory made a positive impact in the community.
“I know they had been providing, making lots of PPE in the pandemic, that was a great resource. I hope that it’s recognized and they are able to continue to do that,” said Nate, a community member. “It’s just sad — they put so much heart into their work.”
The Portland Garment Factory posted on Facebook that they are working hard to reopen in their new home by fall. There’s a GoFundMe to help, which has raised more than $100,000.