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A New Rainbow Lifeguard Tower Rises In Long Beach After Fire Destroyed Original

A freshly painted lifeguard tower has stripes, from bottom to top, in blue, green, yellow, orange and red. It sits on the sand in front of condo buildings.
The new tower was dedicated on June 10.
(Courtesy City of Long Beach)
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Months after a rainbow-painted lifeguard tower went up in flames, the city of Long Beach has unveiled its replacement.

LGBT-identified lifeguards painted the tower last year to celebrate Pride Month. So when it burned down under mysterious circumstances in late March, it sparked widespread outrage, and city leaders vowed to rebuild it.

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, in a news release, called the new tower "a symbol of inclusion and love.”

He also said there are plans to add "features and amenities around the tower to make an even more active space.”

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This shell is all that remains of a lifeguard station in Long Beach that was painted with by LGBTQ+ lifeguards. Officials on March 23 said the station had been destroyed by fire.
(Courtesy City of Long Beach)

Those same lifeguards who painted the original took up their brushes again, including lifeguard Jeremy Rocha.

"Today, we are once again, making history," he said, "not just by painting a tower to resemble the pride flag, but showing the world what this tower symbolizes."

Firefighters are still investigating the cause of the fire, though it's being treated as possible arson. Long Beach City Councilmember Cindy Allen, who represents the area where the tower is located, says she'll introduce a motion for a plaque to commemorate the original.