LBFD Says Fire That Destroyed Gay Pride Painted Lifeguard Tower Was "Incendiary" (Arson) As Its Investigation Continues; Local Pols Sked June 10/5 p.m. Ceremony (Shoreline Way/12th Pl) Marking Installation/Dedication Of New Tower That City Lifeguards Will Repaint
|(June 7, 2021, 2:25 p.m.) -- A City release (June 7) indicates LBFD has concluded that the March 2021 fire which destroyed a lifeguard tower painted with gay pride colors was "incendiary" (arson)...but hasn't determined by whom or the motive.
Immediately following the fire, LB Mayor Robert Garcia attributed the fire to hatred for gays and the LGBTQ+ pride movement, noting the gay pride colored lifeguard tower is the only one that has caught fire for a period spanning decades. Others speculated the fire may have been caused by vagrants or transients who frequent LB's beaches (noting the burned tower is among the closest to a footpath enabling easy access.)
Bottom line: LBFD says some person(s) set the fire (arson) but doesn't yet know who or why and stresses that its investigation continues. A City Hall release states:
The investigation into the cause of the fire in March continues. Long Beach Fire Investigators continue to review various witness statements and track down other leads. This process is time intensive and requires due diligence to make sure the cause of the fire is carefully determined and that all laws are followed in the process. Investigation has determined that no electrical or heat related ignition sources were present on the tower. Based on witness statements and finding no ignition sources in the tower, this fire is classified as incendiary (Arson). The Fire Department continues to seek the public’s help in identifying any additional video, security footage or personal eyewitness accounts associated with this fire. Those with information are urged to call the “Fire Investigation Hotline” at (562) 570-2582.
At the same time, local pols will hold a June 10 ceremony (5 p.m.) marking installation and dedication of a new Pride Lifeguard Tower at Shoreline Way/12th Place. The release says CD2 Councilwoman Cindy Allen will also "develop ideas for enhancing the pride tower with additional ways of showing LGBTQ+ pride."
The new tower, like the one before it, will be painted by City lifeguards.
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