British police have arrested five men after a video was posted on the internet that showed men mocking the deadly Grenfell Tower blaze by burning an effigy of the building as part of Guy Fawkes’ Night celebrations.
The video, which appeared on social media, showed a cardboard model of the tower with cut-outs of residents in the windows being set alight on a bonfire while those watching laughed and made jokes.
Grenfell Tower, a social housing block that was home to a close-knit, ethnically diverse community, was engulfed by flames in the middle of the night of June 14, 2017, killing 72 people in the country’s deadliest domestic fire since the Second World War.
“To disrespect those who lost their lives at Grenfell Tower, as well as their families and loved ones, is utterly unacceptable,” Prime Minister Theresa May said on Twitter.
Khadijah Mamudu, whose mother and younger brother escaped the June 14, 2017, firestorm, called the burning of the model a “vile act.”
Police said five men, aged between 19 and 55, had been arrested on suspicion of a public order offence after handing themselves into a police station in south London on Monday. They remained in custody on Tuesday.
Commander Stuart Cundy, who is leading the investigation into the Grenfell Tower fire, has released the following statement regarding the video circulating on social media today <a href=”https://t.co/ep6MgAoKXt”>pic.twitter.com/ep6MgAoKXt</a>
Across Britain in early November, towns and villages hold annual firework parties and burn effigies of Guy Fawkes, the Roman Catholic plotter who tried to blow up Parliament in 1605.
Larger celebrations often burn celebrity figures with effigies of flamboyant ex-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson being torched at a number of events this year while previous targets have included U.S. President Donald Trump.