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Daily routine may have saved bird store owner's life

By Kimberly Davidow, Reporter
Published On: Nov 13 2012 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 15 2012 05:56:02 AM CST

What a way to start the work day: You're going about your normal routine when a vehicle comes crashing into your store.

SALISBURY TWP., Pa. -

What a way to start the work day: You're going about your normal routine when a vehicle comes crashing into your store.

Debbie Lentz, the owner of Bird Mania, a bird shop on East Emmaus Avenue in Salisbury Twp., Lehigh Co., said she is thankful to be alive.

Lentz was working in the back of her store before it opened Tuesday morning, getting formula to feed the shop's baby birds. She said it's a routine, but this time, it saved her life.

"I heard this explosion, like a bomb went off. You have to almost say it was a miracle," said Lentz.

It was not a bomb, but the force of a vehicle that police said came crashing into the store.

"I came running out into the main part of the room, could see the car. I could see things flying, the bird cage flying by in front of me," said Lentz.

The car stopped near one of the walls inside the building. Lentz claimed the driver "kept gunning his engine and then stopping and gunning his engine and stopping."

The crash, police said, is still under investigation. According to Lentz, police handcuffed the driver and took him away. The driver was not injured, police said.

The building was condemned as an "unsafe structure," but Lentz said she and her staff were determined to get every bird out of harm's way, jeopardizing their own safety.

"We didn't care," said Lentz.

"I had no idea what I was going to find, but I assumed that I would find dead birds," said Sarah Ayers, a bird groomer.

More than 50 birds were removed from Bird Mania. None of them was injured. The exotic birds are safe at the homes of the store's staff.