Pony, Johnny, and Dally are driving back to the church from the restaurant. For an unfathomable reason to Dally, Johnny now wants to turn himself in to the police because he doesn't want to live a life like this. Johnny also doesn't believe that Ponyboy should suffer for Johnny's murder.
The church is on fire when Ponyboy, Johnny, and Dally reach it. Ponyboy and Johnny immediately realize that it was them who set the church on fire. A few playful kids were playing inside the church even when told not to, so they were stuck in the burning church.
Don't worry, you guys are heroes.
We murdered a Soc and are on the run for our lives.
Ponyboy and Johnny felt guilty that the kids were in danger because Pony and Johnny lit it on fire. They go in hastily to save the kids before the fire swallows them. Some of the kids resisted help, but Ponyboy and Johnny helped them anyways.
Darry didn't hate me, he cared about me all along!
Ponyboy gets slightly hurt from Dally hitting his back and Johnny gets injured both saving the kids from the burning church. Pony and Johnny are in the ambulance going to the hospital. Ponyboy is awake while Johnny is still passed out.
At the hospital, Ponyboy talks to a man at the church named Jerry about how he and Johnny murdered a Soc. Jerry assured Pony by telling him that he and Johnny were heroes sent from heaven today. The police would let Pony, Johnny, and Dally easier because of this and the fact that Johnny's murder was self-defense.
Sad and pleading, Darry comes in to the hospital in tears. When Darry yelled at Pony for coming home late, he just meant that he was really worried about Pony. Realizing that Darry cares about Ponyboy and that Darry doesn't want to lose another family member, Ponyboy apologizes to Darry and reunites with his family.