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A charred Melrose home went on the market ‘as is’ for $399,000

Firefighters battled a fire on Berkeley Street in Melrose on Aug. 24.
Firefighters battled a fire on Berkeley Street in Melrose on Aug. 24.Matt Karolian

A Melrose house that was damaged in a fire last month and is in need of a massive overhaul listed “as is” for $399,000.

‘ATTENTION CONTRACTORS!” reads the Zillow listing for the three-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom home at 20 Berkeley St., which is now listed as “under contract.”

“This home suffered a fire that damaged the front facade,” the listing continued. “House is in need of a complete renovation or potential tear down and rebuild. Buyer to do due diligence. House being sold as is.”

Pictures of the home from the listing showed its front face blackened as a result of the fire, with its two front windows and the front door boarded with wood. The side and back of the home did not appear visibly damaged from the blaze.


A fire broke out in the house on Aug. 24. Firefighters arrived to find heavy fire at the front of the house that “got in” through a wall in the attic, Melrose Fire Captain Peter Grant said at the time.

The front of the home was charred up to the start of the roof, and the windows had been blown out, the Globe reported. Firefighters battling the blaze had to rip out walls and ceilings inside the home, Grant said, and four or five firefighters were treated at the scene for heat-related injuries.

The 1,857 square-foot home was built in 1960, according to the Zillow listing, and sits on a 4,500 square-foot lot.

“Great potential to build a new and adorable home in desirable Melrose, a town where property values continue to rise, boasting a thriving downtown, a commuter rail to Boston, excellent schools and multiple restaurants, coffee houses, and local boutiques,” the listing reads.

In a reflection of the highly competitive real estate market, this isn’t the first time a fire-ravaged home has been listed for sale in Melrose. In June 2018, a home on Lebanon Street that was damaged in a three-alarm fire was listed for $600,000. After multiple offers came in within two weeks, the seller raised the price by another $50,000, the Globe reported. That 2018 listing advertised a “unique development opportunity.”


According to realtor.com, the median listing home price in Melrose in August was $744,500, and the median sale price was $737,500. In Massachusetts, the median price for single-family homes in August was $552,000, according to the Massachusetts Association of Realtors.

Demand for Boston-area homes slowed over the summer, according to a monthly analysis of home sales released last month by the Greater Boston Association of Realtors, though prices remained steep.

Amanda Kaufman can be reached at amanda.kaufman@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @amandakauf1.