A smoky fire in a 12-story hotel forced

300 people from their rooms early Monday, officials said. Four people were injured, none seriously.The Avenue Plaza Hotel, filled with fans in town for the Sugar Bowl college football game, was evacuated for two hours after the seventh-floor fire broke out about 2 a.m.

"We crawled out down the hall," said Melissa Higgins, of Greenville, Tenn., who had the room next door to where the fire started. "The smoke was so thick you couldn't see the exit signs."

Four people were taken to a hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation or cuts they suffered from breaking out through windows.

Deputy Chief Ken Trepagnier said the room where the fire started had been rented but the people apparently were not there at the time. The cause of the fire was not known, but Trepagnier said there was evidence it may have started on a gas stove.