Photo: Aimpoint PRO Sight Survives Scorching Minnesota House Fire


A fire on the night of February 18 drove Paul Riddell, his pregnant wife Katie, and their two kids out into the bitter cold in only their pajamas as they watched their home burn. The fire consumed nearly everything—photos, heirlooms, prized possessions—and anything that was not destroyed in the fire was left to freeze in the ice that was left over from the firefighters’ water hoses.

Weeks later, Paul rummaged through the remains of his house to see if there was anything worth salvaging. Among the ashes he found his three firearms. They were burnt to a crisp, but in a surprising turn an Aimpoint PRO red dot sight he had mounted on an AR-15 survived the inferno—and its dot reticle still functioned.

“Here’s a picture of my AR after it was recovered from my house fire after being exposed to the elements for over a month in late February to mid March,” Paul told Recoil. “The rifle was at the core of the fire.”

Despite looking like it’s been dipped into a volcano, the Aimpoint turned on when Paul cranked the knob. In fact, Paul added that he wouldn’t be surprised if the sight was still zeroed, although the rifle is hardly in any condition in which it could be safely fired.

Aimpoint optics are known for being reliable and long-lasting, but few (if any) commentaries on their resistance to fire damage exist on the internet.

Recoil reported that word of the PRO that persevered eventually got around to Aimpoint, who offered to replace it free of charge. The burnt optic will eventually make its way to the company’s own museum for display. In the meantime, Paul and his family are staying with relatives until they finish rebuilding their home. The loss of their possessions may have been a major blow, but Paul said they are moving on.

“As you probably know, some moments in life know no timing. In the midst of this one, we are excited to also focus on a more positive exciting milestone—our family of 4 is growing and will soon become a family 5 in just a few short weeks!” wrote the Liddell family. “In the meantime, we will continue to move forward in order to prepare to welcome our new little one into the world.”

The family has also started a GoFundMe campaign to receive donations that will go towards paying the deductible on their insurance and other costs related to the fire. You can make donations here.

Read More