UPDATED: Dec. 11, 2014 10:58 p.m.

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WNEW) — Shortly after news broke that a mother and her two children died in their home after a jet crashed into a Gaithersburg neighborhood Monday, some area residents started a GoFundMe page to raise money for the family.

Thirty-six-year-old Marie Gemmell and her two sons, 3-year-old Cole and a 1-month-old Devon, were killed inside their home after the plane crashed nearby. They were found in a second-floor bathroom.

Gemmell was lying on top of her young sons in an apparent effort to shield them from the smoke and fire, said police Capt. Paul Starks. Her husband and 5-year-old daughter were not home at the time.

More than $427,000 has been raised online for the Gemmell family, with Gentleman Jim’s restaurant and Soldierfit Gym in Gaithersburg also taking donations.

The GoFundMe page suggests that donations of clothes, toiletries, gift cards or anything else be sent to the Kid’s Town Learning Center,
18815 Waring Station Road in Germantown.

Jill Lyons is the director of the center and started the donation drive for the Gemmells. She says she knew the family well and that their kids went to preschool together.

They’re looking for anything that can help rebuild the Gemmell’s home that was lost on Monday.

“Some dishes that you’re getting ready to get rid of, pots and pans,” Lyons says. “School supplies, books, crayons…”

On Tuesday, Marie Gemmell’s husband Ken posted a statement on his Facebook page:

“No words can describe the enormity of our loss and sadness over yesterday’s tragedy. We lost Marie, the love of my life and college sweetheart, and our two young, innocent and joyful sons – a loss that no person should ever endure. The outpouring of support has been overwhelming, and my daughter and I are appreciative for the prayers and well wishes from friends, neighbors and the community. We also appreciate the dedication and hard work of the firefighters, police and other first responders who did everything in their power to try to save my family during this horrific event. There will be a lot of grieving over the coming weeks, and we request that the media respect our privacy so I can provide my daughter with some degree of normalcy as we try to re-build.”

Ja’mie Rebecca lives near the crash site and knows the Gemell family. She says people can drop off gift cards and donations at Soldierfit Gym.:

WNEW’s Jim MacKay contributed to this report. Follow him and WNEW on Twitter.

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