They were trapped.
But as their Indianapolis home went up in flames on Nov. 2, Jason Doan did everything he could to get his family members out of the blaze alive. After helping two of his children and his husband, Alan Marin, escape through the home’s upstairs window, though, Doan was overwhelmed by the smoke and the flames, Fox 59 reports.
“He saved me and my kids,” Marin told WCPO. “He gave his life for us, making sure we were OK ... That was his priority — our kids — making sure they were safe.”
When fire fighters arrived at the scene around 11 p.m., Doan, 45, was the only family member still inside the house. He was in critical condition when they reached him, according to Fox 59, and later died at the hospital.
The couple had three adopted children: an 11-month-old and a 10-year-old, who Doan saved from the fire, as well as a 16-year-old son, Jordan Marin-Doan, according to WCPO.
The adopted teen boy wasn’t trapped by the fire, though — and police say that’s because he started it, according to Fox 59.
“When I opened the doors and I saw the fire, I knew it was him,” Marin told RTV. “I think all the stuff he went through was more than he could handle.”
A family member told police that the troubled 16-year-old had threatened to kill everyone in the family before “so he could get a cell next to his [biological] father in prison,” according to the Fox 59.
Police arrested Marin-Doan two days after the fire, and charged him with arson, auto theft and murder for allegedly setting the house on fire, killing his adoptive father and running off with the family’s Jeep, RTV reports. He’s been charged as an adult.
Marin-Doan pleaded not guilty to the charges in court on Wednesday, according to RTV.
Marin told investigators that Marin-Doan had threatened to kill the entire family previously, WCPO reports.
The boy allegedly admitted to police that he set the fire by dousing the stairwell with fuel from a weed eater and igniting it with a lighter. Then, he said, he regretted what he had done and fled the house, WISH-TV reports.
The boy’s biological grandparents told Fox 59 that Marin-Doan isn’t the person he’s been made out to be.
An autopsy revealed that Doan died of “inhalation of products of combustion,” Fox 59 reports.
Alan Marin, the surviving adoptive father, told RTV that the boy had a troubled past.
“His (birth) dad was arrested in front of him and he thought it was his fault because he did something wrong,” Marin said. “They tried to get him the best possible therapy to help him out. Because he didn't get the service that he needed right away - these are the consequences.”
Marin said he’s forgiven his son — in part because that’s what his now deceased husband would have done.
“I have forgiven him because Jason was a forgiving person,” Marin said. “I’m upset about what he did but I don't have any hate towards him because at the end of the day he was my son too.”
Doan and Marin met four years ago, the Daily Journal reports, and they got married the day gay marriage was legalized in Indiana in 2014. They adopted the children about a year ago.