Roanoke, VA – By JoAnne Poindexter, The Roanoke Times

Eight people were transported to Roanoke Valley medical facilities Saturday afternoon after complaining of headaches and not feeling well while attending a function at the Salem Parks and Recreation center at 216 South Broad St.

Captain Ray Bristow of the Salem Fire Department said firefighters detected carbon monoxide and an odor in the building when they arrived shortly before 4 p.m. By then, the group that had been at the center had moved to the Salem YMCA branch. The group was associated with the Junior Miss Pageant, according to city of Salem spokeswoman Melinda Payne.

Emergency crews from Salem, Roanoke and Roanoke County transported the eight from the YMCA for treatment, Bristow said. Headaches are a common symptom of carbon monoxide poisoning, Bristow said.

He said the gas was still off in the building Sunday afternoon while Roanoke Gas Co. and fire officials continue their investigation.

A gas company representative recognized the odor and said it indicated that a gas appliance was not burning cleanly, Bristow said. He added the exact appliance has not been identified.

Because of new confidentiality regulations, Bristow said he could not release the names or ages of people who were treated, nor the hospitals to which they were transported. He said no fire and rescue personnel were injured.