(Reuters) - An 11-year-old boy was hailed as a hero on Tuesday after he helped his family escape a fire in their Memphis apartment, local media reported.

The child heard a smoke alarm go off after the fire started shortly after midnight at Ten Mile Creek Apartments Tuesday morning, Memphis television station WREG reported.

The boy, who was not identified, woke up other family members, and all eight of them escaped to safety, Memphis Fire Department Lieutenant Wayne Cooke told the television station.

"We consider (him) a hero and we applaud him for his efforts in getting that family out without any harm," Cooke said.

When fire fighters arrived, flames were coming through the roof, but no one was hurt, Cooke told the station.

The cause of the fire was under investigation, he said.

The Memphis Fire Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Richard Chang)