Homeless man’s controversial camp goes up in flames in Naperville

NAPERVILLE, Ill. -- Suburban officials are investigating after a homeless man’s tent and belongings were destroyed in a fire.

Scott Huber has lived at the corner of Ogden Ave and Naperville Road in Naperville for 15 years as part of what he calls a protest.

Huber’s tent went up in flames Monday.

Cell phone video shot by Mike Kroll captured the fire.

“It took everything he had,” Kroll said. “He was trying to get the stuff and people pulled him back.”

By the time the Naperville Fire Department arrived propane cylinders were venting.

Huber was not with his stuff at the time of the fire.

“There was nothing we could do,” Huber said. “The propane bottles were going off like rocket flames across the road and I was being warned to stay back. My biggest lost is the hundreds of gigabytes of data that’s a record of everything I’ve been doing the last 10 to15 years. Reconstructive data as well as well as my photography.”

Also lost are his canned goods and other food.

Scott and his protest site has been a battle for years. Some Naperville residents want him gone, others say he has every right to set up shop downtown.

The village has taken steps to stop Huber from camping out on Naperville streets. A few years ago, they passed an ordinance that banned storing his personal property downtown.

And last winter, Huber was ticketed by Naperville police.

On Monday night, a group Naperville residents came to support Huber. They dropped off pillows and blankets.

Huber thinks the blaze was started by somebody who doesn’t want him living here. He said he’s going to rebuild his site even though he lost so much during today’s fire.

"I’m going to continue. I’m not going to let them intimidate," Huber said.