"They never complained, which is very touching," said John Farthing, chief of the Central Montgomery County Fire and Rescue.
It a sight firefighters never expected to see. After responding to a house fire call and getting the fire under control, their priorities quickly shifted to the three young boys living at the house, in horrific conditions.
"The kids hadn't eaten. They shared a can of carrots the night before for dinner," Farthing said.
The house is tucked away behind trees with windows broken out, trash piled up in every inch, no running water and no electricity. The kids were living and sleeping in filth -- something Farthing tell us they weren't necessary prepared to see.
"It's heartbreaking when a child walks up and asks you for food and their mom is there -- they don't have food, they don't have anything," he said.
Farthing, the first to make entry into the house, tells us after CPS was called out to investigate, firefighters did what they could to keep the boys occupied, even letting them play with their gear.
"They didn't complain about what they had, what they dealt with, they said they would bathe in the creek," Farthing said.
"We focused on keeping the boys entertained and allowing CPS and fire marshals to do their job without the distraction of the children," said Steven Polonski with Central Montgomery Fire And Rescue.
According to CPS, the investigation is just beginning, and the mother is at the center of it. The boys, ages 14, 12 and 7, were put in foster care on allegations of physical neglect.
"That means we're gravely concerned about the condition of the home when we went out on May 21," CPS spokeswoman Gwen Carter said.
Carter also says at this point, they're not sure if the boys were even going to school.
Meanwhile, firefighters say the boys' mother didn't have much to say, other than since her husband went to jail, she was having a hard time.
"She seemed concerned for whether or not she was going to get some help. She expressed to us she was hoping to get some assistance because of this," Polonski said.
The Montgomery County assistant district attorney tell us once the investigation is complete, they will decide what charges, if any, will be filed against the boys' mother.
CPS tells us they head back to court on May 30. From there, we will learn more about the investigation and what CPS plans to do.