I built a wood house that I'm rather proud of. I've built a fireplace that seem safe, but I don't want to risk burning my house down. I've seen plenty of tutorials online for making safe fireplaces, but most of them are more than 1 year old, and possibly obsolete. I tried reading the Minecraft Wiki article on fire, but it gets pretty wordy and difficult to understand. Is the fireplace pictured below safe?

View from inside. (The wood planks in the fireplace will be the fuel, and eventually replaced with netherrack): View from inside.

Up close view. (Fuel has been removed): Up close view.

Outside view. (4 dirt blocks have been removed to show base of chimney): Outside view

3 Answers 3


To answer your question, I decided to experiment with your build. I tried to replicate your fireplace as accurately as I could, while limiting the size of the structure surrounding it:

enter image description here

I tried to keep the base structure of the fireplace as close to identical as I could.

enter image description here

I first attempted the fire with the wood planks shown in your pictures:

enter image description here

Unfortunately, the wood burned down to nothing, and the fire eventually died. I then tried it with Netherrack.

enter image description here

Everything seemed to be going well. I thought I'd successfully completed the experiment, when suddenly:

enter image description here


The end result to follow:

enter image description here

Alas, my structure (house) was destroyed. I feel I didn't even get to know my creation, for it died within minutes of me setting the fire.

Long story short, NO. The fire will spread to your house.

five wooden blocks were harmed in the making of this answer

EDIT It is worth noting, however, that out of the 4 times I've rebuilt/retested, every time the fire has started at the bushes along the outside of the fireplace.

enter image description here

  • I will say, though... I have no idea why only one side of the house was affected.
    – Niro
    Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 0:20
  • I also tried this in creative mode yesterday, and it successfully survived 2 days and 2 nights. Good thing I asked!
    – Sonic42
    Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 0:25
  • @Sonic42 Also, after ~2 in-game days, the entire structure (i.e. every piece of wood surrounding the brick) was gone.
    – Niro
    Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 0:41
  • Try doubled wooden slabs. I think the bug where they don't burn is still present.
    – Broam
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 14:41
  • @Broam If you mean as fuel for the fire, that's what I did. They did in fact burn.
    – Niro
    Commented Feb 5, 2012 at 8:49

I would say no From the Wiki

More precisely, a fire block can turn any air block into fire that is adjacent to a flammable block and up to one block downwards, one block sideways (including diagonals), and four blocks upwards.

Also, this answer would suggest not as well.

  • 2
    +1 as while the other one gives the answer 'No' this actually gives the rules of fire so a proper fireplace could be created.
    – James
    Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 0:48
  • 7
    I really like how the first answer is almost completely empirical with little mention of the minecraft rules for how fire works/spread and this answer is almost completely explaining the rules of minecraft (aka theoretical answer).
    – syn1kk
    Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 13:23
  • And it explains Fluttershy’s last picture: the fire lit the air block above the bush block which is one block above and one block diagonally to the side of the fire. As to why it always lit the same side, that’s probably either chance due to the build, or a function of the update algorithm.
    – Synetech
    Commented Sep 27, 2013 at 3:50

I'm not sure what version this was when it was first posted, however, following the wiki, we can identify exactly how fires are started.

Fire will spread over flammable surfaces. [...] This can happen at a distance of up to one block downwards, one block sideways (including diagonals), and four blocks upwards of the original fire block (not the block the fire is on/next to). Therefore if the player is using fire to build a fireplace, caution is needed. Blocks in the way will not prevent fire from igniting blocks above it—so even if you protect your wooden roof with cobblestone between it and the fire, the fire will completely ignore that cobblestone.

To test this, I built a little experiment:

Control Test

As you can see, both of these are set up within the parameters of the reach of the spread. Needless to say:

Fire Control - Burning Fire Test - Burning


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