WAUSAU (WAOW) — A 32-year-old has officially been charged for allegedly starting the fire at Rainbow Coin Laundry in Wausau.
Azeez Hakeem is facing two felony charges in the April 9 blaze that destroyed the laundry mat and a connecting floral shop.
He’s set to make his initial court appearance at 2 p.m.
Kerri Puig, Assistant District Attorney, read details from Wausau Police Captain Benjamin Graham. “He confessed to Captain Graham that he started the fire by lighting some of his own clothes on fire,” said Puig.
Allen Shidell, the owner of Rainbow Coin Laundry, said he’s known Hakeem for years. Calling Hakeem by his nickname, “Lucky,” Shidell said, “All I wanted to do was get lucky straightened out… I mean get him on the right track.”
Shidell said Hakeem was homeless and that he slept at Rainbow Coin Laundry in exchange for calling police when other homeless people loitered.
Shidell said that was their agreement until about two weeks ago. “He brought in another homeless person and let them sleep,” said Shidell. After that, he said Hakeem was no longer able to sleep at Rainbow Coin Laundry.
This story will be updated.