A mobile home fire at Rabbit River Estates east of Wayland killed Jason Morgan of Wayland Tuesday morning.
Authorities indicated the fire call came in just before 9:40 a.m. at the Rabbit River Estates., just off 135th Avenue in Wayland Township.
Morgan, 44, who had been living alone in the mobile home, died in the blaze, along with a couple of dogs, according to the Wayland Fire Department.
Department members said the fire was fully involved when they arrived and the mobile home was completely gutted by the fire. Morgan’s body was found in the kitchen when firefighters extinguished the blaze.
Neighbors said Morgan, a Native American who played football for Wayland High School, had a physical disability. Many Facebook posts also said he was well-known and loved. He was often seen walking around town and on a bench downtown waving to motorists.
Morgan’s graduation from the Class of 1991 at Wayland had to be delayed for a year because he was the victim of car-pedestrian accident on 142nd Avenue. He had been disabled ever since then.
Tanya Jackson posted, “My heart aches for the loss of Jason Morgan aka Chief. If I knew the last hug I got I would of held you tighter. I will miss seeing you in town people watching. You will be deeply missed, my friend. Be with your creator. I will send smoke signals, my friend, until we meet again.”
Longtime Wayland resident Tom Miller, through his association with the Auction House Cafe, said Morgan was a friend of his for a long time.
Miller posted, “Jason Morgan was a regular at the Auction House Cafe, sadly we lost him this morning to a house fire. We will miss him coming in, rain or shine, entering with his usual loud voice greeting anyone who might be at the counter. His handicap from an accident years ago prevented him driving so he would walk from his place over a mile away to get a bite to eat and visit with the folks, harass the staff a bit then try to find a ride back into town. We will miss this colorful character.”
Details about what caused the fire or any other people or animals injured in the incident weren’t immediately available.