Tent home of Naperville 'protester' burns down
A tent on Naper Boulevard just south of Ogden Avenue in Naperville caught fire Monday afternoon, displacing squatter Scott Huber, who has set up camp there for the past few years.
The Naperville police and fire departments are investigating the fire, which began about 1:55 p.m., police Cmdr. Jason Arres said. Huber was not in the tent at the time and no one was injured, he said.
Firefighters arrived to find the tent engulfed in flames with propane tanks inside venting gas under a large amount of pressure, Bureau Chief Andy Dina said. Crews assumed a defensive stance in case of a propane explosion and set up their engine on Naper Boulevard to shoot water at the fire from a hose line while Huber watched from nearby, he said.
More than two hours after the fire, investigators remained on scene working with police to comb through the remains of the tent, Dina said.
The tent had been covered in blue tarps with a sign that listed Huber's Facebook page and called the dwelling a protest site.
Huber has lived on Naperville streets for nearly 15 years in self-proclaimed protest of what he perceives as wrongdoing by city officials, whom he blames for the loss of his home, business and property.
For several years in the early 2000s, he set up camp around downtown streets until the city in 2009 outlawed sleeping, camping and storing property there. Huber then moved his campsite to 4 N. Washington St., outside of a psychologist's office. He relocated from that area to several sites on Ogden Avenue after he was found guilty of misdemeanor charges in 2011 for chasing and taunting the psychologist when she asked him to leave.
Police were interviewing Huber outside of the debris of his former tent home Monday afternoon.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.