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Three-alarm fire racks Chestnut Hill house

Hammond Street interior, Newton

An early morning fire at 583 Hammond St. went to three alarms before it was knocked down shortly before 6 a.m.

The Newton Fire Department reports investigators are on scene, trying to determine the cause of the fire, which also forced the closing of the road to traffic.

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Interesting - that explains why the traffic was such a debacle over there this morning.

This is a tough area for firefighting unless it was one of the homes right on Hammond (it does not look like it was one of those to me). There are several private ways/driveways that lead to parcels set back from Hammond. It looks like it might be one of those houses. That would explain why NFD had a hard time getting at least one of the trucks in.

Perhaps an interesting note or perhaps not: there are a lot of vehicles with State Department-issued diplomatic plates that regularly go in and out of those driveways (the entire neighborhood, which is, loosely, mine, has become something of a haven for diplomatic personnel in the last few years). It seems that some of the bigger homes/expensive lots have recently been purchased by or on behalf of foreign diplomats (e.g., a very large house on Crafts Rd. appears to be the new home of someone affiliated with the Turkish government who, judging from the fence and the number of security cameras, is at least somewhat concerned about his/her and his/her family's security).

I wonder if the house that burned was owned by a foreign government/diplomat.

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There are four houses right in that little cluster, and like you I'm not sure which one was on fire. There is no 583 despite what Newton FD said, and turns out that cluster is on the Brookline side anyway.

The two houses closest to the Star parking lot appear to be owned by WS Development, which is the company that has put in so much work on (guh) The Street in the past few years. No way to tell if either is occupied. But if the fire was in one of those, a teardown would sure seem to be a looming possibility.

The other houses two appear to be private homeowners, and one of them is even owner-occupied, per Brookline's tax records. Looks like they're the only ones standing between those four homes and a Rite-Aid or Walgreens to wage unholy war with the CVS. Them, of course, and the not inconsiderable clout of the Chestnut Hillians living up Hammond on the Newton side.

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