TEENAGER Ellie Watton’s quick thinking stopped a fire from spreading through a shopping arcade.

Ellie, 18, has been praised by firefighters for her “swift action” to help extinguish a fire in the Cockadoodledoo cafe, in Clements Arcade, off the Broadway, Leigh.

She had helped her mum, Kate to open the cafe for Tuesday's morning trade, at about 8.30am, when a fat fryer caught light.

Remembering what she had learned from her ex-fireman dad Mick, Ellie found a fire blanket and threw it over the fire.

Belfairs Academy sixthformer Ellie, of Prittlewell Square, Southend, said: “I pulled the fire blanket off the wall and put it over the frying pan and waited for the fire service.

“I panicked a little bit at first, but I kept calm, because I knew what to do and I knew if I got nervous, it would make things worse.

It wasn’t massive, but there was quite a lot of smoke.

“I’ve sat through a lot of chip pan fire demonstrations and I also went on a young firefighters’ course two years ago, so I knew what to do.”

After the firefighters left, cool-as-a-cucumber Ellie then calmly headed off the school as if nothing had happened.

She said: “The friends I told about it said it sounded really bad, but it wasn’t as bad as it sounded.”

Karl Smith, based at Leigh fire station said: “There was minimal damage, mainly because of Ellie.

She was very good, she really stopped the spread of the fire and appropriately used the fire blanket.

“It was in a kitchen with a lot of combustibles and had the potential to be serious, but Ellie’s swift action meant we could quickly get the fire under control.”