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Since rain apparently doesn't always extinguish lightning fires, many of my buildings are now at danger of spontaneously combusting.

Besides building solely with non-flammable materials like stone (which actually tends to make things rather ugly), what are some methods to safeguard against (or at least stall) disasters like this?

I experimented with putting a layer of water between floors so that fire is immediately extinguished as it breaks through ceilings, but the walls still burned up and I was left with a soggy mess to clean up later.

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I heard triangle buildings are fireproof. – Nick T Apr 22 '11 at 19:29
Related: Does Lightning Strike on an Angle? – GnomeSlice Apr 23 '11 at 16:24
up vote 5 down vote accepted

In the real world having something taller than your house is the way to do this, so in Minecraft you could build a spire next to your house.

However, unless Notch has implemented lightning "properly" you won't be able to rely on this, and your only solutions are to put something non flammable between your house and the sky or build out of non-flammable materials.

The only real alternatives to stone are brick, gold, iron (but these depend on you being able to find a lot of clay, gold ore and iron ore) and glass.

I'd try a glass canopy in the first instance.

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As long as lightning doesn't travel sideways, just build a fireproof roof and make sure there are no trees immediately adjacent to your flammable walls.

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Using stone half-steps is a surefire (ha!) way of making it lightning-proof and it makes it not quite as unsightly as having full blocks like cobble or regular stone.

Glass would be another alternative, though less desirable in my opinion.

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+1, very punny. – GnomeSlice Apr 23 '11 at 16:22
Similarly, wooden slabs are also fireproof, since they share a block ID with stone slabs, but differ in damage value. – Unionhawk Mar 5 '12 at 17:28

You can use some nice texture pack to not make cobblestone looks so ugly. (I agree with you that cobblestone in original pack looks very ugly). There is nothing that will "isolate" you from fire. Fire spread doesn't check if it has some blocks that shall stop it.

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