Fond memories of much-loved fire victim

ADRIAN Miller would go out of his way to help others, spending his spare time immersed in the charity work he loved.Today his family spoke of their fond memories of Mr Miller - who died in a fire at his flat in Felixstowe - remembering him as a great dad and granddad.

ADRIAN Miller would go out of his way to help others, spending his spare time immersed in the charity work he loved.

Today his family spoke of their fond memories of Mr Miller - who died in a fire at his flat in Felixstowe - remembering him as a great dad and granddad.

His daughter Becky Foster said: “We really miss him, but we have some lovely memories, good memories.

“He walked me down the aisle at my wedding, he was there for my daughter's christening, and he knew I had completed my nursing training although he won't be there for my graduation, and he saw me settle down.

“He was there for all the important things you want your dad to share with you.

“I know he had some problems and it was a great shock when he died, but he was a great dad and a brilliant granddad and we love him very much.

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“He will be very much missed - we have had so many cards from so many people who knew him.”

Mr Miller's body was found after firefighters were called to his flat above the Citizens' Advice Bureau in Orwell Road.

Neighbours had heard a smoke alarm going off and alerted the emergency services.

The fire crews had to break into the building and found Mr Miller, 54, inside. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mrs Foster, 24, who lives with her husband Stephen, 24, and their daughter Ellie, two, in Runnacles Way, Felixstowe, said her father was born in Kenya, where his dad had been working as an architect, but the family moved back to England when he was small.

He had lived in Ipswich for a while before moving to Felixstowe 30 years ago.

Mr Miller worked for companies in the port for many years and was with P&O as a loading clerk until the firm pulled out of the dock.

He then worked as a van driver for a catalogue delivery service, then Tesco and Morrisons, before training as a driving instructor and then in February this year launching his own business.

It took off well initially and several of his customers passed their driving tests successfully, but the credit crunch and people cutting back on spending led to a downturn in business.

Mrs Foster said: “It was going really well for him but then unfortunately work dried up a bit.”

She said Mr Miller had been a great dad - doing all the things a dad expected to do.

“He would take me to theme parks and water parks, take me in the pool and play and mess around: he was a lot of fun and I will always be able to think back to those lovely times,” she said.

Mr Miller - who lost his sister Sandra to cancer some years ago - had lived in the flats for about four years.

“He loved being close to the town and to the beach and would walk on the seafront almost every day,” said Mrs Foster.

“He loved sailing when he was young and was a bit of a sun worshipper, really enjoying the outdoors.”

His other great pleasure was motor racing, particularly the grand prix, and had been to Silverstone to see races.

Police are not treating his death as suspicious, though an inquest will be held in due course.

Would you like to pay tribute to Adrian Miller? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

HELPING OTHERS

In his spare time, Mr Miller, who was divorced, worked for the Trading Places shop in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe, which is manned by people with learning disabilities and mental health problems.

He was an accredited volunteer - supporting and training those on the project, helping them improve their skills.

He also helped out at the Community Resource Centre in the grounds of Orwell High School on various projects, including taking part in biking challenges around Alton Water and helping set up a garden area.

Mrs Foster, a learning disability nurse said: “He really enjoyed his work on these projects - he was always more than willing to help people out in any way he could. I think he felt he had a duty of care towards everyone - it is something close to both our hearts.”

CAR CRASH SURVIVOR

Six and half years ago Mr Miller was involved in an horrific crash on the A14 on the outskirts of Felixstowe when his Honda Civic car went into the back of a lorry, leaving him trapped for 45 minutes and suffering horrendous life-threatening injuries.

His story and amazing recovery were highlighted by The Evening Star, with Mr Miller thanking the Suffolk Accident Rescue Service doctors for their work at the scene as well as the other emergency services.

During the crash it is believed his head had hit the steering wheel airbag so hard his face fractured and swelled to the size of a bloodied football. Even to those close to him, he was virtually unrecognisable.

But surgeons worked miracles to painstakingly rebuild his face after his jawbone shattered - using titanium plates instead of bones which had to stay in his face to hold his cheeks and jaws in place.

The operations left him looking just as he did before the accident.

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