Firefighters gathered outside a Leicester building to remember a popular and respected colleague, who died fighting a fire there twenty-years-ago today.
Robert ‘Bob’ Miller was a fire fighter at Leicester’s Eastern Fire Station, who lost his life in the line of duty at the age of 44.
The incident happened on October 31 2002 – 20-years-ago today.
Mr Miller was one of around 90 firefighters who were sent to respond to a severe fire in a disused hosiery factory on Morledge Street, where he sadly perished.
A red plaque was placed on the building in his memory, back on October 28, 2018.
Earlier today, over 50 firefighters, plus members of Bob’s family and friends gathered at the building, now known as the ‘The Atrium’ to remember his sacrifice and bravery 20 years on.
“At the time, it was a real shock and something that had a real impact on Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service. To lose one of our colleagues whilst tackling a fire is the ultimate sacrifice that fire-fighters know is a risk and a hazard, but we sometimes don’t expect it to happen,” said Matt Cane, Area Manager Head of Operational Response for Leicestershire Fire and Rescue.
“Bob was well loved, very, very well respected in the fire and rescue service, so each year we come back and remember Bob, but particularly this year where it’s 20 years since his loss,” he explained.
“It’s important that we don’t forget. Even for new firefighters who didn’t know Bob, to understand the sacrifice that he made and the risks that are associated with firefighting clearly.
“We remember those and we make sure that we do our best to avoid those tragic events in the future.”
Andy Miller, Bob’s brother spoke to the Leicester Times at today’s memorial event.
“We’re here to remember that he made the ultimate sacrifice, protecting the community that he lived in and served. It was at this site that that awful event 20 years ago today,” he said.
“Our family’s got a history with the fire service – Bob’s father (my father) was a serving fire officer, as was his brother, and we’ve got a connection with them which will always be there,” he went on to reveal.
“It’s a special connection that we have and the community equally should be thankful for the job that these guys do.”