An American teenager has been charged with murder, arson and car theft after allegedly burning his gay adopted father to death to be with his biological dad in prison, Indiana news channel RTV6 reports.

Sixteen-year-old Jordan Marin-Doan was arrested on Saturday (11 November) in connection with a house fire he is accused of starting, which killed Jason Doan, 45.

Alan Marin, Doan's husband, told officers he and his partner awoken last Thursday night to find a fire raging on the staircase which led to the exit out of the house. According to Marin, Doan helped him and two of their adopted children escape through a bedroom window before he himself was caught up in the flames.

"He saved me and my kids," Marin told RTV6. "He gave his life for us, making sure we were OK. He got me out with my kids and told me to take them to a safe place. That was his priority – our kids – making sure they were safe."

However, once Doan and the two children were out of the house, they realised that Marin-Doan was missing, while the family's Jeep was nowhere to be seen.

Fire officials said the fire was started using a cigarette lighter and a fuel commonly found in weed-killer.

Marin said that Marin-Doan had previously threatened to kill everyone in the house, especially his adopted parents, so "he could get a cell next to his biological father in prison"..

The 16-year-old to be tried in an adult court, although an initial hearing has not been scheduled.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover Doan's funeral expenses. It has so far raised $11,000.