A lifesaving tower honoring LGBTQ-plus pride was unveiled in Long Beach this afternoon. The brightly colored structure replaces one that was destroyed in a fire in early March, which investigators this week classified as arson.
Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia told KCRW of the tower server restoration as a symbol: “We are absolutely sending a message that you might try to bring your hate here. … But we will rebuild, and we are proud of our gay community.
City lifeguards painted and installed the tower, which is located on the beach near Shoreline Way and 12th Place.
Garcia says there are plans to make it bigger than it currently is: “We’re also looking forward to adding two laps. There is a lot we are discussing right now, adding some historical markers and additional flag poles. We might even add event space to it.
Investigators are still looking for more information about the arson that set the final tower ablaze, which was installed as part of the Long Beach Pride Week festivities last year.
“Lifeguard towers have been around here for many decades, there have been no fires, it’s very difficult to start one,” Garcia says. “And it’s a very … one that they set on fire. So to me it’s very clear what people were trying to do, and we can’t wait to hopefully catch whoever did that. . “
Anyone with information about the fire is encouraged to contact the Long Beach Fire Department investigation hotline at 562-570-2582.