DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas police and Child Protective Services (CPS) are both investigating a case involving eight underage children being left home alone.

According to Dallas police, an adult woman and her children, ages 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, and 12, were being allowed to stay at a church-owned duplex in the 2400 block of Marsalis Avenue.  The pastor of New Life Church tells CBS 11 that the woman had been staying there for quite some time as church members were trying to help her get back on her feet.

Early Sunday morning, a woman saw the mother leave the church without her children. When the mother hadn’t returned for several hours, the witness and another woman, who members of Dallas Fire Rescue are calling Good Samaritans, took the kids to Fire Station 33 in the 700 block of W. Illinois.

Apparently the mother returned to the church, learned the children were taken away and went to CPS offices all before police had left the fire station.  CPS has now taken custody of the children.  No charges have been filed against the mother at this time.

On Monday morning, CPS spokeswoman Marissa Gonzales said officials had spoken with the mother. “We’re still trying to piece together a timeline for how long they might have been left by themselves. The mother says that she left to go visit some friends.”

CPS workers also spoke with the children. “The oldest child says that she sometimes is left home alone to watch her siblings but that it’s not usually for very long,” Gonzales explained. “This time was probably for several hours, so we’re still trying to figure out the exact details.”

The children were at the fire station for less than an hour before police arrived and took them away. Of their condition Gonzales said, “The children are in good health, they’re fine physically. They’ll remain in foster care temporarily as we keep working on it and trying to figure out exactly what happened.”

The mother reportedly told officials that an adult was supposed to be taking care of the children while she was out.

But one neighbor, who lives next door to the duplex the mother shared with her children, says she always sees the children, but rarely sees the mother.

“Those little kids run close to that road out there,” said Mattie Cole. “It just worries me to death. Now those big ones can get out of the road but them little ones like this they can’t get out of the road.”

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