Well I don’t know who ‘she’ was but greater levels of originality are always welcome in fantasy. As previously stated in this genre making things up is kinda the whole point.
Your ideas might well need work, but you should take the time to work on them, rather than abandoning them.
If you wish to go for the middle ground, then do what I just did with the Elves to all the other ‘races’ you want to talk about and use them to tell new stories that are different to what came before.
Also, don’t disparage your own ideas, nobody’s ideas come out fully-formed. You should spend a little time with your ideas, figure out how they work and how to ensure they make sense in your story.
If you want to write about a race that has a special relationship with fire, then try to think about how their society works beyond just “they like fire a bunch”. Give them a backstory, a mythology, a history. Who’s in charge, how do they govern themselves. Eventually you’ll realise that the thing you originally thought was the important thing about your idea (the fire in this case) was only one small part of a big, interesting race of people.
EDIT: You know what? I just remembered something that really helps me when I’m trying to come up with new ideas.
See, I look for pictures made by other people and I make up my own stories about what’s happening in them.
For example, what do you see when you look at this picture?
What’s happening here? What is the hand? Who are the people around it? What happened to this place to make it a desert?
Or this one:
What are those woolly animals doing in the desert? Who lives in those cabins? What kind of people would travel like this? How would they get food and water?
If you can answer these questions, then you’ve got a story right there.
These pictures may not have any relation to the story that you want to write, but they are evocative, aren’t they? Look on sites like deviantart and whatnot for pictures that really tell you a story, then use them to think about the kind of story you’d like to tell.
Artists are creative folk, they think outside the box on these things.