AN 11-year-old girl has been hailed a 'lifesaver' by her family after she led them all to safety when a fire broke out in their Oakwell home.

Ellie Taylor helped get her parents, brother and younger sister safely out of their Coniston Road terraced home after hearing the smoke alarm go off in the middle of the night.

The brave youngster also helped ensure the blaze was contained as she had closed all the downstairs doors the night before.

The fire, which happened on December 20, is believed to have started when the family's fridge freezer caught fire due to an electrical fault.

Ellie woke her parents Gail and David, brother Brad, also 11, and sister Gracie, four.

Mum Gail believes Ellie's quick-thinking actions saved their lives and said her daughter was 'absolutely brilliant'.

Ellie went in to her parents' bedroom at about 2.45am and said she could hear the smoke alarm.

Gail said: "I got up and the house was full of smoke. We went outside in our pyjamas and I dialled 999 on my mobile phone.

"I can't tell you how proud I am of her. She was absolutely brilliant, she kept really calm and if it hadn't been for her we might not have made it out alive."

Gail said the fire service also praised Ellie for routinely making sure the downstairs doors are closed at night because it had contained the fire and slowed the spread of smoke.

"One of the firemen said the fact the downstairs doors were closed, particularly the ones leading in to the utility room, saved us by slowing the spread of smoke and allowed us to escape," Gail added.

"That's down to Ellie, she goes around and closes all the doors and makes sure everything is switched off at night."

The fire has gutted the family home and they have spent New Year in a hotel while they look for rented accommodation.