In “The Outsiders,” Why Did Ponyboy and Johnny Go Into the Burning Church?

In “The Outsiders,” Ponyboy and Johnny go into the burning church to rescue a group of school children who were eating a picnic lunch inside when the structure caught on fire. Ponyboy and Johnny drove by the church they had been hiding in after the fire started and ran in to rescue the children, suspecting that it was their cigarette butts that ultimately led to the fire.

As Johnny and Ponyboy approach the burning church, they see several schoolchildren outside. However, a chaperone begins to yell that there are still students trapped inside the burning building. Both characters run into the burning building and hand the children out through the window one by one. As they rescue the last child, the roof collapses, seriously injuring Johnny.