Robert Miller

Robert Miller

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.

Please help support our Firefighters with the Firefighters 100 Lottery, a weekly online lottery created to support firefighters, their bereaved families and to honour the bravery and sacrifice of firefighters killed in the line of duty. With your help we can have schemes such as the Red Plaque Project for memorials to those lives lost.

Learn about the history of the Red Plaque Project and discover other Firefighters that have also received Red Plaques.

Photo credits: Frances Stephenson and Fire Brigades Union


  • Posted April 29, 2021 Reply moderated

    Adam Taylor

    The day the Red Plaque was unveiled in memory of Bob, I was privileged to be the then Brigade Secretary for Leicestershire, as I worked with a Red Plaque unveiling committee of volunteers that wanted to ensure that the day that marked the unveiling of the Red Plaque was done so with no detail not considered, with such dedication in making it the occasion that Bob’s family, friends and colleagues would be incredibly proud of – for that, I am proud of those committee members, my fellow FBU members.

    The committee and their efforts, and the subsequent unveiling event was testament to the character of Bob that I had come to learn. I never knew Bob, I knew of the tragic fire in 2002, as it was across the street from where my parents worked. The Red Plaque, upon on the building where Bob lost his life, is in an area that has been regenerated and changed considerably in just a few short years, but the Red Plaque ensures that Bob’s legacy lives on. On the day of the unveiling a few hundred people that knew and loved Bob, and many like me that only had the opportunity to learn through others how great Bob was, turned up and met old friends, created new friends and spoke about the “good old days”, of which all centred around Bob. It was a day of unity, of bringing people together -to stand together. It was also a day, if one was ever needed, to show how much Bob meant to so many.

    The unveiling event had many facets, we had tea and cake at the Central station, people could look round the FBU exhibition that was set up there, before we all walked en masse to the street where the plaque was to be unveiled. We had many speakers, but one who stood out was Bob’s old friend and Sub-o, Mark “Mole” Smith. Mole spoke from the stage to the hundreds that arrived, marking the occasion as something very special. We then invited people to the theatre nearby to watch the Firefighter Story.

    The day the Red Plaque was unveiled, is and will continue to be remembered fondly by all that I speak to, the memory and sacrifice that Bob made has been acknowledged respectfully and forever.

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