"This illustration is seen in thousands of places throughout American downtown neighborhoods: In an effort to modernize the appearance of an old storefront, a permanent, noncombustible facade has been erected over the second and third stories of this commercial occupancy. The original building consisted of a mercantile operation that was conducted in a Type III construction building. It has masonry exterior front and rear walls and a wood-framing system that supports the floor and roof assemblies. It shared side walls with the adjacent buildings, which was a common means of construction in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. When constructed, the street side of the building had tall windows to provide light and ventilation. […] To protect firefighters and the public, the fire code official should become an active participant in the code adoption and enforcement process by offering professional advice on what many would consider simply a cosmetic change to a building to improve its appearance."
Coffee Break Training - Fire Protection Series No. FP-2014-26
U.S. Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/