SEE INSIDE: Police photos show 'deplorable' conditions inside Dixmoor home
Police removed the children and woman from the house. The elderly woman's daughter and another woman were in custody late Monday with charges pending, police said. Four of the children were released to their parents.
Photos taken by police show a nearly empty fridge, food remains on the stove, molding appliances, holes in the wall and bare mattresses on the floor.
"I can't even imagine anyone living like this," said Dixmoor Police Chief Ron Burge. He called the conditions "deplorable."
The elderly woman, who had two-inch long fingernails that were curved over, did not appear to be taken care of, Burge said.
The children were found sitting on the floor and unattended.
Investigators did not immediately know if the children were related, who their parents are, and who even lived at the home.
"There were probably 6 kids inside the house, some more walking up as we were at the location, trying to enter the location and there were some more," Burge said.
Investigators said they called the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) as soon as they arrived Monday afternoon
However, Burge said DCFS did not respond. After waiting for three hours, police removed the children themselves.
"I'm a little upset we've been here three hours. DCFS has not responded properly," Burge said.
Just last week, Gov. JB Pritzker ordered a review of the state agency after two toddlers died while their parents were under DCFS investigation.