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London Firefighters Respond to Apartment Blaze on Anniversary of Grenfell Tower Fire update

2018-11-06 19:51
London police have arrested five people over a video that showed a cardboard model of Grenfell Tower being burned on a bonfire, in an apparent reference to the 2017 inferno that killed  72 people. The Metropolitan Police said the men remained in custody Tuesday, Nov. 6, after being arrested late Monday on suspicion of a public order offence after allegedly creating a copy of the fire-ravaged west London public housing tower. The men ranged in age from 19 to 55. Survivors of the 2017 blaze expressed disgust at the video that showed a large flammable model marked "Grenfell Tower," complete with paper figures at the windows, being set on fire. The video appeared to have been shot in someone’s back garden, in which an English flag was mounted on a pole, The Metro reported. Bystanders could be heard mockingly saying, “Help me, help me!” and “Jump out the window!” One of the individuals wiggled a cutout of a person in a window, sparking laughter. A person said, “Stay in your flat, we are coming to get you,” in an apparent reference to the stay-put policy that may have cost lives in the fire. Another individual can be heard saying, “That’s what happens when they don’t pay their rent.” The video ends as the model is completely consumed by the fire, with one bystander saying "Perfect." Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the video in a tweet. “To disrespect those who lost their lives at Grenfell Tower, as well as their families and loved ones, is utterly unacceptable.” Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy, who is leading the investigation into the Grenfell Tower tragedy, said he was "frankly appalled by the callous nature" of the video, according to The Independent. “So many people lost so many loved ones, and many more have been deeply affected. To mock that disaster in such a crude way is vile," said Cundy. “I can’t imagine the distress this video will undoubtedly cause to bereaved families and survivors," he said. Khadijah Mamudu, whose mother and younger brother escaped the fire, called the burning of the model a "vile act," according to The Guardian. London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton, who was at the scene of the harrowing blaze, said the video was "appalling and disturbing," according to The Metro. Moyra Samuels, part of the Justice For Grenfell campaign group, spoke of the outrage "right across the country, of ordinary decent people who actually saw it for what it was." She told BBC Breakfast it was "a disgusting attack on vulnerable people," The Metro reported. Samuels added "We have no doubt that there are actually decent, generous people across Britain and this actual act doesn’t represent ordinary British people." While it was not clear when the video was taken, it emerged on social media at a time of year when Britons celebrate Guy Fawkes Day. The November holiday uses fireworks and bonfires to mark Fawkes's failure to blow up Parliament in 1605. The Associated Press contributed to this report.