Barnes & Noble closed indefinitely after cafe fire

White coverings draped over shelves and the B&N Cafe. -Staff writer / Madison Miller

Last Tuesday, Nov. 8, students woke up to the news that Barnes & Noble and the attached Barnes & Noble Starbucks Cafe inside the store would be closed due to a small fire that broke out in the cafe area. 

Rowan Advisory sent out an alert via text and email that morning, shortly after the incident.

“Rowan’s bookstore in Glassboro, Barnes & Noble, will be closed today, Tuesday, Nov. 8, due to a small fire in its cafe. No one was injured and the fire was put out quickly by fire suppression systems. Smoke filled the store, however. Thank you for your patience,” via Rowan Alert.

For bookworms and Starbucks lovers, the closure changed some people’s plans for where they wanted to get coffee or go study. The fire occurred before anyone was in the building and there were no injuries.

The next day, another alert was also sent out stating that, “The Barnes & Noble bookstore will be closed tomorrow, Wednesday, Nov. 9, due to a small fire in its cafe. Thank you for your patience as the store is cleaned.”

Over a week later, caution tape remains outside the doors and crews continue to clean and repair the damage from the incident. The store and the cafe will remain closed temporarily until further notice.

“The fire originated within the snack bar area of the bookstore and both the fire alarm and fire sprinkler systems were activated during the course of the incident. These systems provided early detection to alert the fire department and controlled the fire before it could significantly spread,” said Tammori Patty-Dixon, director of communications for the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.  

There was no visible damage to the exterior of the building and crews are still working on the interior. 

“All indications are that the fire cause was accidental in nature. NJDFS [New Jersey Division of Fire Safety] Code Enforcement staff also responded to address code issues due to the fire, such as the restoration of the fire alarm and fire sprinkler systems,” Patty-Dixon said.

The store’s managers and clean-up crew denied commenting on the matter.

Clean-up crews were also seen transporting bags of clothing and merchandise out of the store and into trucks, but it has not been determined where these products were brought to or what is being done with them.

Re-open is reliant on the cleanup and restoration being finished — which is also uncertain. Students who need to pick up textbooks or special orders can email for more information about their order.

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Hello! My name is Madison Miller and I'm one of the editors here at The Whit! I've been a part of the team since my sophomore year, and am currently at the end of my junior year where I'm studying journalism with a minor in entrepreneurship and CUGS in creative writing. I love to write profiles, explanatory pieces and have aspirations of traveling the world and being a freelance magazine writer. Additionally, I am one of the founders of The Lotus Review, a solutions journalism magazine startup that will be launching soon. When I'm not working you can find me with a good book or at a hot yoga class.