When the city inspector condemned your house following your kitchens fire it means that the whole house may have to be brought up to "code". That would be a much bigger expense than the fire damage alone. An attorney can halt the demolition process and give you time to do the repairs. The attorney may also be able to reverse the condemnation and thereby limit your expense to just repairing the fire damage. Your insurance company will have to repair the fire damage but won't want to pay for the additional items required to bring the house up to "code". There are quite a few sales in the area although most are "distressed property sales". Bank owned property and county tax sale property sales information is not readily available without going to the county records. When all the sales in the immediate area are "distressed" sales then they becomes the market. With the drop in values over the past few years a small fire can actually "total" the house. That is, the cost to repair the fire damage may exceed the value of the property. My recommendation would be to find an attorney that can help you deal with the mortgage company, the city building department, and your insurance company. The attorney may suggest that in the long run it might be more cost effective to just walk away from the house.
Best of luck.... more