According to Harlan City Police officer Josh Howard, who was the first person on the scene, the house destroyed by the fire belonged to Tony Sweatt. The second house that caught fire is located adjacent to the Sweatt residence and occupied by James and Martha Bushnell.
The Harlan City Fire Department quickly responded to the scene, but the Sweatt residence was already engulfed in flames.
Harlan City Fire Department Chief Linette Hutchison requested the assistance of the Sunshine Volunteer Fire Department for extra manpower.
According to Harlan police officer Danny Ball, strong winds contributed to the fire spreading quickly to the Bushnells residence.
It was first reported that people may have been trapped inside the Sweatt residence. Upon the arrival of the police department, Debbie Hensley was observed exited the flaming structure before collapsing, Ball said.
"The flames and heat were so intense, myself and several other police officers pulled the Hensley woman to a safe area away from the burning house," said Ball.
According to Ball, Martha Bushnell was helped from the residence by police officers. There were also pets in the Bushnells residence that escaped without injury.
No one was injured in the fire, but LifeCare Ambulance Service and Harlan EMS personnel were dispatched to the scene as a precautionary measure.
Several houses are located in the area where the fire occurred.
"The fire department did an exceptional job in containing the fires to the two houses," said Howard. "It was like an inferno with the wind giving the fire strength."
The cause of the fire is under investigation. An arson investigator will follow-up on the fire today.
Other officers assisting at the scene were Marvin J. Lipfird and Mike Thomas.