The man convicted of burning down a Wausau Laundromat and flower shop in April 2019, causing more than $1 million in damage, is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday afternoon.
Azeez Hakeem, 33, of Wausau, pleaded guilty to his most serious counts of arson and burglary in August.
The fire destroyed Rainbow Laundry and Blossoms and Bows. Both businesses were located near Second Avenue South and Clark Street on Wausau’s west side.
Officers responded to the fire just after 3:30 a.m. April 9. The owner of Rainbow Laundry advised officers that Hakeem was a person of interest in the fire.
A short time later, an officer recognized Hakeem walking around the neighborhood near the Laundromat. After some questioning, Hakeem admitted to the officer that he started the fire.
Hakeem said he had been working and living at the Laundromat. He said he and the owner had a disagreement April 8, and the owner terminated the relationship. Hakeem was told to take his possessions and leave. Hakeem told the officer he lit his possessions on fire, because he did not know what else to do with them.
It is believed the fire was started on the south end of the building. Hakeem asked the officer why firefighter were spraying water on the north side of the building when he started on the south side. The officer told him the fire has spread.
His sentencing hearing is set for 2 p.m.