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A two-alarm fire broke out Saturday afternoon at Harvard University’s Sever Hall, an academic building that is designated as a National Historic Landmark, according to the Cambridge Fire Department.

Firefighters discovered “smoldering” between the second and third floors of the building, which was unoccupied at the time, said Jeremy Warnick, a spokesman for the Cambridge Police Department.

“They were able to put it out without incident,” Warnick said in a phone interview Saturday.

The first alarm was struck around 2:30 p.m., and the second alarm was called around 3 p.m., the Cambridge Fire Department tweeted.

“It ended up going to a second alarm for relief purposes alone because of the heat and humidity of today,” Warnick said.

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According to Harvard Library’s website, Sever Hall in Harvard Yard was constructed between 1878 and 1880. In its history, the building — designed by architect and Harvard alumnus Henry Hobson Richardson — has undergone major renovations, including in 1950, 1982, and 2005.

In 1970, Sever Hall became a National Historic Landmark, according to the library’s website.

A Harvard spokeswoman said the university is “currently assessing any damages.”


Alison Kuznitz can be reached at alison.kuznitz@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @AlisonKuznitz.