INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Family and friends of the man killed last week by a house fire on the northwest side spoke publicly about the victim for the first time, calling his death a “painful tragedy” Sunday in an interview with 24-Hour News 8.
Jason Doan, 45, was critically injured Thursday night in the fire and later declared brain dead at Eskenazi Hospital. He acted as an organ donor for four people and was taken off life support the following day, according to his partner, Alan Marin.
Authorities arrested a 16-year-old boy in connection with the fire the day after Doan’s death. The unidentified minor was charged with murder, arson and auto theft. Officials declined to comment on the relationship between the teen and the victim.
Marin described Doan as a loving family man, a proud father of three and the “craziest, goofiest one of them all.”
“I’m a female impersonator and to find someone who will accept you for that is really difficult,” said Marin. “He always supported me and that was the most important thing… He does not judge anyone.”
The two met online in 2014 and eventually started a family via adoption, with the assistance of Indianapolis attorney Grant Kirsh. The clients quickly became his close friends, he said.
“I miss that genuine, genuine relationship I had with [Doan],” said Kirsh. “His passion was helping children in foster care.”
Doan had been working to establish a non-profit for children aging out of the foster care system, with plans to one day purchase a 60-unit apartment complex to house the organization, Marin told 24-Hour News 8.
“He used to talk about us adopting 30 kids,” Marin laughed. “Family was what mattered to him. Family always came first.”
Doan put Marin and their children first when flames broke out Thursday night at their Highland Road home, pushing them through a bathroom window too small for him to climb through and instructing them to run as flames engulfed their other escape routes.
“He wanted me to take our kids to the neighbor’s to make sure they didn’t hear what was going on,” he recalled, his eyes filling with tears.
Marin realized they were saying goodbye as he fled to safety with their 10-year-old and their 11-month-old in his arms. Meanwhile, the fire had trapped Doan and the family’s beloved dogs in their bedroom.
“He wasn’t alone,” said Marin. “That gives me some strength to go on.”