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Aimpoint PRO Survives a Damned House Fire

UPDATE: The Riddell family set up a GoFundme page to help them meet their insurance deductible, replace the many things lost in the fire and help defray the general cost of living while out of their home. Please consider taking a minute to donate $2 to show the 2A community takes care of its own.

Paul Riddell had a shitty winter. He lost his Minnesota home to a fire one night this past February.

Thankfully, no one was hurt in the fire. The house was a total loss, though.

“I lost pretty much everything,” he says.

Aside from all his family’s other possessions, he lost three firearms in the blaze. But, he reports his Aimpoint PRO mounted on a Spikes lower/BCM-EAG lightweight upper frankenrifle somehow survived the fire. That’s it in the inset photo of his rifle above, red dot glowing defiantly. Aimpoint found out about it and already swapped it for a brand new optic and with a plan to display the survivor in its museum.

“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,” said Riddell. “The rifle was at the core of the fire.”

He said the rifle sat in the water and ice leftover from the firefighters, exposed to the outside in sub zero Wisconsin winter. Weeks later, Riddell was allowed to look through the wreckage after the fire investigation was complete. He found his melted pile of a rifle covered in ice, rust, ash and mud in the debris. The polymer rifle case it was stored in had fused to sections of the rifle, as well. He pried open the eyepiece cover on the PRO and turned the knob. And, it lit up.

“Had I been willing to trust firing the gun,” said Riddell, ” I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if it held zero.”

Riddell learned a few things from this terrible experience. One thing he shared with us is the importance of a quality gun safe. “Buy quality gear,” he said. “I lost both my rifles and my shotgun because I had all this money invested in the guns and was storing them in a sheetmetal locking StackOn cabinet.”

He says his new gear is  now stored in a real firesafe from Liberty Safe.

Riddell had homeowner’s insurance and will recover the value of many of his lost possessions, but things like family heirlooms and photos are gone forever. He, his pregnant wife and two children are staying with relatives while they work through the process of rebuilding their home.

We first caught wind of Riddell’s story through Primary and Secondary.

Photos: Courtesy Paul Riddell. Used with permission.


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