Two people have been arrested after eight children were found living alone in their squalid family home in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.

A 40-year-old man and a 32-year-old woman were arrested after attending a government agency office in the Blue Mountains town of Katoomba on Friday morning, police said.

“They are currently at the local police station assisting police with inquiries,” a police spokesman said.

Police removed the children, aged between three and 16, from the house on Thursday after they were discovered living without adults earlier this week.

They are now staying in a serviced apartment paid for by the NSW Department of Community Services (DoCS) under the care of a relative, who has come to Sydney from elsewhere in the state to help out.

Police believe the children may have been alone in the house for up to two weeks before they were discovered.

DoCS has said the children do not all have the same parents and it may not be possible to keep all eight children together.