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Sorry, but you're 'situation' isn't grandfathered since you're a NEW owner to the home.
What you're experiencing is not new. Usually, a home needs to be 'updated' (code wise) when ownership is transfered. That's what you're experiencing. As long as the 'last owner' owned the home, it's normal that they don't have to update the house. BUT, when a home is placed for sale, it's usually subjected to a Municipal Inspection. Depending, the 'update' that's being noted may be needed for 1) Condition of Sale, or 2) Occupancy Permit.
Long story short - If your Municipality requires the Fire Block, you're out of luck. (You'll need to check w/a local Municipal Inspector to see under what 'conditions' a Fire Block is required in an attic. If your Home Inspector is saying you need a Fire Block, ... well, he/she's looking after your safety.
My best to ya and hope this helps.
Jay J -Moderator
PS: God Bless America!