Many homes in the area, like the one involved in the fire in Elkins on Oct. 28, are privately owned and older.
Elkins code enforcement officials said older homes are called pre-existing.
Officials said they still have to meet codes to be safe, like having working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Officials said they don't check the homes unless someone calls it in or if someone applies for a building permit.
Rental homes are in a different category.
"The rental homes, city of Elkins passed an ordinance allowing me to go in and inspect rental homes to make sure their up to code, but unless a private home owner invites me or gets a building permit I can't go in and doing anything with it," said Phil Isner, Elkins Code Enforcement Officer.
Isner said there are more than 600 units that are considered rental units in Elkins.
Private homes are more than doubled that.