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My room: The sign says "Warning!  Lava Below!  Dig down with Extreme Caution!"

Now occasionally, a random piece of my floor will catch fire for about 10-30 seconds:

I've seen two different pieces do it so far

I am aware of a lava pit immediately below this room, but I thought stone was supposed to be fire resistant!

This has already almost killed me. What's going on?

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1  
Is it because of the sign I wonder? –  Raven Dreamer May 18 '11 at 2:38
    
@Raven: I wondered that too, but I caught on fire before I placed the sign. –  John the Green May 18 '11 at 2:39
    
I've been burnt before by a lava pool that was diagonally adjacent to a block. Are you aware of a pool existing on the other side of that wall? –  chandsie May 18 '11 at 2:47
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I love the actual question titles on Gaming.SE. Every time I'm browsing through 'What's Hot' and I see something like 'Why is my floor on fire?', I do a double-take and WTF until I read the small text that indicates that the question is on Gaming.SE. –  kivetros May 18 '11 at 13:18
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@kivetros: Well, I'd be surprised if it weren't. It's on fire, of course it's gonna be hot! –  Piskvor May 19 '11 at 12:26
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3 Answers

up vote 28 down vote accepted

Apparently fireballs from lava can tunnel through up to two blocks sometimes causing a considered-to-be-safe location to catch fire.

I had to rebuild my wooden floor three times before I noticed my lava fall outside was to blame. (Since it's SMP with bukkit, WorldGuard solved this issue for me)

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21  
+1 for quantum physics –  JiminP May 18 '11 at 6:11
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That explains why my nice brick and wood home once became a fireball during a neighbors visit...damn lava moat. –  Rapida May 18 '11 at 6:14
    
@JiminP: yeah, I was already wondering when Notch would make minecraft more realistic :p –  Zommuter May 18 '11 at 11:19
    
This explains how the fire got there, but I still want to know how stone can catch fire. –  John the Green May 18 '11 at 16:52
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@John: I think that's the mechanics of fire, the game first determines if something would catch fire and afterwards checks whether it actually is burnable. I don't know if it's a bug or intended behaviour since otherwise you could safely walk around a pool of lava without ever catching fire yourself... (since your character is not a block) –  Zommuter May 19 '11 at 5:58
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Combining the inputs of Raven Dreamer, chands, Tobias Kienzler, Kromey, Kevin Y, and Kevin Reid, I have decided that:

1: I caught on fire because I was unlucky enough to be diagonally southwest of a lava block.

2: The lava underneath my sign is tunneling up to it.

3: But because of a bug (possibly because a sign isn't a solid block), the blocks around my sign have been catching fire instead.

Many thanks to everyone.

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I think this happens when you have a wooden but non-flammable block sufficiently close to lava to catch on fire; the fire-block is supposed to be burning the sign, but it doesn't — perhaps because the sign isn't a fully opaque solid block.

I've noticed this happening with fences, so it's likely the same thing here.

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