A Portland woman has been arrested for setting the fire that destroyed the Portland Garment Factory in April.
Andrea Renee Cadle, 48, was taken into custody on June 9 on charges on second-degree arson and reckless burning, after a man living in a tent across a block from the factory told the business’s owner he saw Cadle walking out of an alley as the building went up in flames.
Around 3:30 am on April 19, Portland Fire & Rescue arrived at the textile company’s manufacturing facility at Southeast 79th Avenue and Stark Street to find the building ablaze. Firefighters were able to keep the fire from spreading to nearby buildings, but the two-story shop was destroyed.
The company described the damage as “a total loss.”
Founded in 2008, Portland Garment Factory is a zero-waste textile company that creates everything from clothing to art installations. Last year, PGF spent the beginning of the pandemic sewing thousands of masks for frontline workers.
Security camera footage released by fire investigators shows a person in baggy clothes walking away from a dumpster outside the building as flames begin to emit from the top.
According to a probable cause affidavit filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court, a witness described as “a member of the houseless population” saw Cadle near the scene of the fire, and later identified her as the suspect in the video, having recognized her clothing and gait. Cadle has been without a fixed residence for five years, according to court documents.
The affidavit says the witness “has known Andrea for years, but does not consider them friends.”
Cadle has a previous felony conviction for carrying a concealed weapon.
A GoFundMe launched shortly after the fire has raised more than $118,000 to assist Portland Garment Factory with damages.