It has been revealed that four doctors, who were onboard the King Seaways ferry as passengers, helped to treat those who were affected by breathing in smoke.
Humber coastguard watch manager Graham Dawson said it was thanks to their efforts that so few people need to be airlifted to hospital.
He was also full of praise for the crew, whose training he said had "kicked in". He added that it was fortunate that the weather conditions were good and that if this had happened a few days earlier, during fierce storms, there could have been a very different outcome.
Passengers have begun to leave the Port of Tyne ferry terminal after disembarking the MS King Seaways following a fire on board.
Two men have been arrested - a 26-year-old man on suspicion of arson and a 28-year-old man on suspicion of affray - following the incident. The ferry was on its way to Holland when the incident happened.
Yesterday, Saturday 28 December, a fire broke out in a passenger cabin on the DFDS Seaways cruise ferry King Seaways, which was en route from Newcastle to Amsterdam. The incident happened at around about 2245 and crew acted quickly to contain the fire, which was extinguished within 15 minutes.
We can confirm that there were 946 passengers and 127 crew members onboard. Fifteen passengers and eight crew members are reported to have suffered from smoke- related injuries.
The ship returned to Newcastle at around 4.30am and an investigation is now underway.
Two men have been arrested by Northumbria Police following a fire on board a ferry in the North Sea.
We received reports from the coastguard at around 12.05am today of a suspected arson on board a ferry in the North Sea. Officers from Northumbria Police are working with DFDS Seaways and others helping to assist with the situation. Two men have been arrested - a 26-year-old man on suspicion of arson and 28-year-old man on suspicion of affray. They are helping us with our inquiries.
A pregnant passenger was one of the six people airlifted to hospital off the ferry involved in last night's drama. She and five crew members were airlifted to hospital in Scarborough, it's thought all were suffering from breathing in smoke.
The MS King Seaways ferry, with 946 passengers 127 crew on board had left Newcastle for Amsterdam when a fire broke out in one of the passenger accommodation blocks. It is now back in Newcastle. The rescue operation was co-ordinated by the Humber coastguard.
The crew did a magnificent job in putting the fire out. A fire at sea is a very serious matter and could easily have led to loss of lives.