Investigators: Electrical failure caused massive January commercial fire in SW Portland


A commercial business complex destroyed by fire Sunday night continued to smolder into Monday afternoon, preventing fire investigators and anxious business owners from accessing any of the building.

Ten businesses call the Macadam Center home, and dozens of workers now face an uncertain future.

The Sidley family has devoted its livelihood to preserving and transforming others most precious keepsakes at their shop inside the complex.

Many Portlanders are familiar with Picture Perfect, the photo printing and restoration business has been around for decades, and has a loyal base of customers.

MORE: Crews continue to battle commercial fire in SW Portland

For the family, losing customers’ priceless memories and photos is a nightmare come true.

“It’s our life – 34 years,” Stephanie Sidley said as she looked at the back of the heavily damaged building. “We have albums of theirs, we have family memories, we have videos, we have slides that they trusted us with.”

Her sister Nancy Sidley added that their “main concern is the customers at this point.”

The extent of the damage at Picture Perfect is uncertain, as the family still waits to get inside.

Stephanie Sidley said they are “hoping for a miracle” when it comes to the 3,000 film slides and the 40 photo albums that were inside the shop when the fire broke out on the floor above.

The business, in many cases, receives the only remaining copies of images and videos when customers drop them off.

Portland firefighters said the building is likely a total loss, meaning Picture Perfect will move for the first time since it opened in 1984.

“My parents were the first ones to open their local business at the Macadam Center, and so it’s bittersweet,” Stephanie Sidley said. “(We) have lots of family memories here, a lot of sense of community. It’s a huge loss, it’s devastating.”

The Sidley sisters said the outpouring of support and love from customers and the community has been amazing. Stephanie Sidley added that they’ll work out of their homes if necessary to complete orders and will make up for the loss to their customers.

Picture Perfect is asking anyone with questions about their orders to contact them at 503-771-1853.

Other businesses housed in the facility include MedData, Chamber Music Northwest, Cau’s Deli, Livermore Architecture and Engineering, and a greeting card shop that contracts with the U.S. Postal Service to provide stamps and other postal services.

A spokesman for USPS said Tuesday it was “highly unlikely” that any mail would have been inside the shop when it was closed Sunday.

Portland firefighters said the smoke alarm system in the building was “inadequate,” adding that the alarms did not go off until the fire had been burning for several minutes. Crews also said the facility did not have fire sprinklers, but those were likely not required because of the age of the building.

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