Ok...1880 Balloon Frame with no fireblocks. The house is gutted at the moment and I'm ready to add some. Any idea how this is properly done? I was thinking just nailing in some 2x4's in the space below the opening to the 2nd floor.

Second Question:
I thought the proper "balloon" framed house had single 2x4's running all the way up the outside of the house structure. This house has about a 10 footer running from the sill plate up to about a foot above the second floor joists and then another 2x4 nailed to it where it continues to the 2nd floor Ceiling? Is this normal?

Third Question:
After removing the lath and plaster ceiling on the second floor, I discovered the 2x4 ceiling joists weren't really doing anything at all besides holding the 2nd floor ceiling up. I'm thinking of removing these and traying out the ceiling up there as it's really low. The Roof is a typical Hip Roof. The Ceiling Joists are simply set on the sill and split half way across the 24' span (foursquare) where they rest on a bearing wall.

Any help would be appreciated.