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.


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.