California authorities are investigating a recent fire that destroyed a lifeguard tower painted with a rainbow in honor of LGBTQ Pride Month — a potential arson that one official called an “act of hate,” a report said.
Fire officials in Long Beach, Calif., are investigating the blaze, which was apparently set just before midnight on Tuesday, according to NBC News.
The stand was first painted in June by lifeguards to celebrate Pride month, and is a popular spot on the beach, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, who is openly gay, told the outlet.
While he acknowledged that sometimes kids and homeless people break into the lifeguard stands, he said he believes this was “an act of hate” and vowed to rebuild and repaint the structure.
“The tower served as a symbol of our strong support for the diversity within our ranks and the LGBTQ community who call Long Beach home,” Medina wrote in a tweet.
“It was a gut punch to the community but we’re going to punch back. We’ll be stronger than ever,” Garcia added.