"A fire swept through a motel in central Alabama, killing four Mississippi college students who were trapped in their room, officials said yesterday. The victims, two of whom were cousins, were students at Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, Miss., which is about 90 miles west of Hoover, Ala., the site of the Days Inn fire. Officials didn't immediately know what started the blaze Saturday night, or where it began. The victims were among those who made 911 calls to report the fire, Hoover Fire Department spokesman Rusty Lowe said. Firefighters knew the women were trapped in their second-floor room, but couldn't get to them because of the flames. ""Half of the hotel was on fire. The fire was very hot, and it was just difficult to reach all the rooms to get to the victims,"" Lowe said. The 126-year-old Mississippi University for Women was the first public college for women in the U.S."