Long Beach officials unveil new Pride lifeguard tower after original one burned down

City officials said the fire that destroyed the original tower is still under investigation and has been classified as arson.

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Friday, June 11, 2021
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Long Beach city officials unveiled a new Pride tower on Thursday. The original one was burned in March and is being investigated as arson.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- On Thursday, Long Beach city officials unveiled a new rainbow-colored lifeguard tower to replace the original one, which was destroyed in a fire in March.

Hundreds of people showed up to an unveiling ceremony for the new tower on the beach near 12th Place.

"It's just an immediate sense of pride and inclusion. As a gay person, as a queer person, seeing that just makes you feel welcome and supported and as mayor of this community, I was just really proud," said Mayor Robert Garcia.

The cause of the fire of the original tower is still under investigation and has been classified as arson.

The department says LGBTQ members of the Marine Safety Division painted the tower during Pride month last year and it has since "served as a symbol of our strong support for the diversity within our ranks & community."

City officials said they are working to add a plaque, create a pathway for wheelchairs and add a space near the tower for events and celebrations.

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