The incident happened in London, shortly before Guy Fawkes Night, where a crowd of people surrounded a cardboard effigy of Grenfell Tower while placing it on a bonfire. They laughed and cheered as the cardboard cut-out burned, with images of victims clearly shown in the “windows.”

When a video clip of the incident appeared on social media, outrage erupted. Many described the footage as “sick,” "vile" and “racist.” Prime Minister Theresa May also condemned the footage, describing the incident as “utterly unacceptable.” Five men, involved in the incident, have now been arrested.

Effigy of Grenfell Tower burned

Five men were taken into custody at 10 PM on Monday at a south London police station following the release of the video clip, showing them burning the cardboard effigy of Grenfell Tower. Their ages were quoted as 19, 46, 55 with two men aged 49. The arrests were made on suspicion of a public order offence.

The arrests came after police launched an investigation after viewing the offensive video clip. The footage shows a crowd of people surrounding a bonfire, while some place the cardboard effigy on the top and set it alight.

People shrieked with laughter as the flames took hold, clearly illuminating sketches of victims in the windows. Across the top of the effigy, the words “Grenfell Tower” could clearly be seen.

Many people on social media said the men responsible had “no shame” while describing the video footage as “sick,” “utterly vile” and clearly “racist.” As reported by the BBC, Prime Minister Theresa May sent out a tweet to condemn the men’s actions.

She wrote that it was “utterly unacceptable” and that the perpetrators had disrespected those victims who lost their lives during the fire at Grenfell Tower.

The BBC quotes the Justice4Grenfell campaign group as saying the video clip had caused distress and great alarm.

Their report also quotes Commander Stuart Cundy of the Metropolitan Police’s Grenfell Tower investigation team as saying the incident was to be “fully investigated.” He said he was “frankly appalled” at the “callous nature” of the clip posted on social media, adding that mocking a disaster like this in such a “crude way” was vile.

Five men in custody on public order offence

The Evening Standard quotes a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police as saying five men had been arrested in relation to the incident and were being held in custody relating to a public order offence, after their investigations revealed them to be responsible for the bonfire incident.

The spokesman went on to say the men, aged 19, 46, 55 and two aged 49 were taken into custody after they handed themselves in at the south London police station.