Robert lost his life in the line of duty on the 31st of October 2002. His Red Plaque was presented on the 28th of October 2018.
Robert, known to all as Bob, was a firefighter at Leicester’s Eastern Fire Station. He was fatally injured at the age of forty-four while searching for people to evacuate from a severe fire in a disused factory. He left behind two teenage sons.
Bob was one of around ninety firefighters sent to respond to a fire in an old, disused hosiery factory on Morledge Street in the early hours of the morning. By the time Bob’s crew arrived, the top two floors of the three-storey building were alight. Once he was inside the building searching for occupants to evacuate, Bob fell through a floor of the burning building and was fatally injured. As the first death in the line of duty in Leicestershire Fire and Rescue for over twenty-five years, Bob’s passing greatly affected firefighters and the community across the county. Firefighters from every brigade across the country paid their respects at his funeral, many of them forming a guard of honour along the route from their colleague’s fire station to the cathedral in the city centre.
Today, Bob is fondly remembered by his family and colleagues, and his brothers and sisters in the FBU and the fire service. His Red Plaque memorial can be found on the wall of Morledge Street building where he died, now named The Atrium.
Leicestershire’s Chief Fire Officer, David Webb, spoke of “a precious life lost”. He said Rob Miller was a big man in every sense, who was held in high esteem by his colleagues. Firefighters were often portrayed as heroes, he said, and Rob Miller was one of the finest examples of what being a firefighter was all about.
“He was held in high esteem by all of his colleagues and he will be remembered by many of them as a person they most wanted to be paired with at an incident, and he lost his life fully convinced that he was trying to save the lives of others.”
Below are memories added by those who knew Robert Miller or had a story that they wish to share with you. If you have a tribute for Robert Miller that you wish to add, please include your memory below.
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Photo credits: Frances Stephenson and Fire Brigades Union