Kids Left Home Alone Placed in Foster Care

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By Autumn Ziemba, Fox 8 News Reporter

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Five children under the age of 6 were left to fend for themselves in a house on Cleveland's east side.

The children, ages 14 months to 6 six years, were left home alone in an East 46th Street duplex.

The Department of Children and Family Services tells Fox 8 they received a call from police and responded immediately.

An ambulance rushed the children to Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, where luckily, all checked out OK.

But the commotion was enough to draw neighbors out of their homes. Terry Dunn says he's been concerned about the home for some time.

"A lot of people [are] going in and out all the time, [in the] middle of the night," Dunn explained.

"[I] could not even imagine leaving my kids for five minutes,” says Debbie Wilmoth. “How somebody can leave their kids like that for hours, who knows? It might have been days."

Wilmoth has lived on the block for 19 years, but she says she's never seen the house in this kind of disarray.

"All the debris and garbage on the outside, it's in horrible condition since they've moved in there," Wilmoth said. "People like that should not even have children."

That seems to be the consensus echoed along the street, as those who learned the news seemed to be in awe and disbelief of what was going on behind closed doors.

"If somebody left five kids in the home they need to be in prison or jail somewhere," said neighbor Rhonda Lester.

CFS tells Fox 8 News that they've been working with the mother since last August because of a concern of possible neglect.

There is no word from Cleveland police as to how long the children were left alone.

Mary Louise Madigan with the Department of Children and Family Services told Fox 8 News that the four youngest children will be placed in foster care, and that the oldest will be placed with his father.

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