Brother who admitted to setting Old City fire in 2018 sentenced to prison

The building was gutted by fire on Feb. 18. Adjacent buildings were damaged.

This building in Old City, Philadelphia was gutted by fire on Feb. 18, 2018. Adjacent buildings were damaged. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

This story originally appeared on 6ABC.

One of two Delaware County brothers convicted of setting fire to their Old City business back in 2018 will spend nearly a decade behind bars.

Imad Dawara was sentenced to nine years in prison on Tuesday after accepting a plea deal.

Imad and his brother, Bahaa, admitted to setting their hookah bar and lounge on fire for insurance money.

Officials say the brothers set the fire following a dispute with their landlord. Federal prosecutors say the Dawaras had taken out $750,000 in insurance weeks earlier.

The blaze caused $20 million worth of damage, destroying a neighboring business and gutted two mid-rise buildings near 2nd and Chestnut streets.

The fire left 160 people homeless. A number of pets also died.

Bahaa will be sentenced Thursday.


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