By Alexandria Hoff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Two brothers have been arrested in connection to an inferno tore through several buildings in Old City. On Thursday afternoon, city officials announced arson charges in relation to the 2018 blaze.

Over a year and a half later, the heavily-marked remains of a four-alarm fire that brought Old City to its knees in the early morning hours of Feb. 18, 2018, are still visible.

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Several adjacents businesses on the 200 block of Chestnut Street have yet to recover. Over 150 people were displaced and the street was closed for months.

Credit: CBS3

It was all due to the plot of two brothers, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Officials say the brothers were arrested on Wednesday at Philadelphia International Airport and are facing charges for intentionally setting the fire that destroyed several Old City buildings.

Imad and Bahaa Dawara operated multiple businesses at 239 through 241 Chesnut Street under the company RCL Management. Federal officials say financial issues and $64,000 owed in rent led to their lease being terminated.

“The Dawara brothers had not held any insurance policy on their business at the Chestnut Street location for over a year. Yet on the very day they were asked to leave, and only about two weeks before the fire, Imad Dawara purchased insurance,” U.S. Attorney William McSwain said.

That policy would provide the brothers with $750,000 in the event of an accident.

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“In obtaining this new insurance policy. the charges alleged that Imad Dawara asked the insurance broker repeatedly how he would be paid ‘if there was a fire,'” McSwain said.

Well, there was a fire. Around 3:15 a.m.on Feb. 18, prosecutors say that Imad intentionally set fire to the basement of the property using a gasoline accelerant.

“Fortunately we were able to keep it from getting across the street and down the street thanks to the dedicated service and skill of your Philadelphia firefighters,” Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said.

But connecting businesses suffered.

“It burned a hole through our roof and we were — we’ve been closed ever since the fire,” business owner Kristen Shemesh said.

And the U.S. Attorney’s Office wants this case to make clear arson is not a victimless crime.

“Nobody should be thinking that they can get away with arson. It may take a little time for us to figure out that you did it but we will figure it out,” McSwain said.

The two brothers made their initial appearance in court on Thursday afternoon. Prosecutors say they will be asking the two be held until trial.

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If convicted on all 10 counts, the brothers face 17 to 20 years behind bars.