Loving tributes have been paid to a Chesterfield mum who was allegedly murdered - leaving her children orphaned.
The body of 32-year-old Gemma Stevens was found by firefighters in her home on Catherine Street, Brampton.
Her children Chloe, aged 15, Olivia, aged eight and five-year-old Cael are now being cared for by Gemma’s mum Janet and other family members.
Janet, of Norbury Close, said: “Gemma was my best friend.
“She adored her kids and she was so full of life.”
The father of Olivia and Cael, David Bayne, died almost four years ago.
Family friend, Lisa Austin, of Sudbury Close, has launched a fundraising drive to pay for funeral costs, said: “Gemma was very bubbly and a lovely person. She always voiced her opinion and would help anyone.
“I have known her since I was three-years-old.
“When I found out I could not believe it. She would not hurt anybody.
“She liked a laugh and loved her kids.”
Since Gemma’s death, just days before Mother’s Day, dozens of children’s toys have been donated and a fundraising page has been set-up.
So far more than £200 has been donated in just 24 hours, with a target set of £2,000.
The page reads: “Due to the unexpected and cruel nature of Gemma’s departure, her family never had time to set aside funds.
“This page is an appeal to help the friends and family of Gemma say a loving and respectful goodbye, worlds away from the tragic circumstances that took her away from their lives.”
The money raised will help the family pay for the funeral costs and the remainder will provide her children with the toys and clothing they lost in their home.
Messages of support for the family have also been posted on the fundraising page.
Julie Pebworth wrote: “Very sad news. Poor kiddies. Thinking of you all x.”
Janet Woodward posted: “RIP Gemma. Our thoughts are with your family at this sad time.”
Up to 40 firefighters from Chesterfield, Staveley and Clay Cross battled the blaze after a call at about 2.05am on Thursday, March 3.
Neighbour Deaton Josephs, aged 53, said: “I was in my house doing paperwork when I could hear a ‘cracking’ noise. I thought someone was trying to break into my van so I opened my window and then I saw the smoke.
“I grabbed my phone and called 999.
“I ran outside and knocked on three or four doors to wake people up to get them to move their cars because I didn’t think the fire engines would be able to get through.”
Gary Tyson, aged 35, of Shirland Street, Chesterfield, has been charged with her murder, committing arson recklessly as to whether life is endangered and attempted wounding. Mr Tyson is also accused of allegedly attempting to cause grievous bodily harm to Miss Stevens on February 26. He is due to appear at Nottingham Crown Court today.
Mr Tyson appeared at Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Thursday, March 10) and he was remanded in custody.
To make a donation to Gemma’s fundraising page, visit: Gemma Steven’s fundraising page