First came the sound of a bang.

Then Paul Beaudin looked out the window of his Monmouth home and saw flickering lights about 25 feet away, where his family’s unattached, two-story garage was standing.

The garage held three cars. One was the 2009 Hyundai sport utility vehicle that has helped his wife, Lynn Beaudin, get down to Boston to receive medical treatment for a rare disease known as Scleroderma that affected her lungs and required chemotherapy.

The other two were vintage cars — a 1930 Ford Model A and a 1934 Dodge 5-Window Coup — that Paul and his friends have worked on.

A fire had started in the garage, and within minutes the garage was destroyed along with the cars and many other things inside it. The fire also melted some of the vinyl siding on the Beaudins’ home and singed Paul’s eyebrows when he first went out to the garage.

That was early on the morning of March 2.

About 30 firefighters from Monmouth, Winthrop, Leeds and Wales went to the fire at 65 Route 135. “She was fully involved when I pulled up,” Monmouth Assistant Fire Chief Ed Pollard said the next day. He didn’t know what caused the fire, but said it was not suspicious. They used water to knock down the fire and sprayed foam on the home to prevent further melting.

Now, Paul and Lynn are thankful for several things: that they and their pets were not harmed, that firefighters prevented the blaze from spreading to their home, that it wasn’t windy that day, that the metal roof they’d recently installed over their home may have shielded a propane tank from the heat and prevented it from exploding.

“We’re thankful we have each other,” Lynn said this weekend, shortly before she and Paul made a trip to Wal-Mart in Auburn.

Their relief is all the greater because they’ve seen news reports about more destructive fires that have taken homes and lives.

But bouncing back still hasn’t been easy. After the fire melted the vinyl siding, the Beaudins have had to wrap parts of their home in protective paper. Dealing with the insurance adjusters has been a headache, and they now worry a heavy snow could fall this week, delaying the cleanup.

They’ve lived at the home since 1995.

They’re also worried that Paul, who is 57, won’t be able to continue working on cars. He sewed custom upholsteries for old cars in the garage and was hoping to continue the pastime when he retires from his manufacturing job at TexTech Industries in Monmouth.

Paul pursues that pastime with his brother, Leo. One car they upholstered — a 1949 Chevrolet Fastback with a leather interior — was featured in Northern Rodder magazine a few years ago. Now, Paul said, he hopes to salvage as many tools as he can from the wreckage.

The garage housed many other objects, such as an antique sowing machine and a freezer that they used to store meat, and the family also held social functions in the garage.

Since the fire, Paul and Lynn’s nephew has started a fundraiser to rebuild their garage on the website GoFundMe.

“This was a fun garage,” Paul said. “It was a work garage. It was a partying garage. It was a storage garage.”

The garage also held materials that Lynn and Paul have used to make crafts such as oven mitts. They sell those crafts at fairs, and Paul said that the proceeds from one day at a craft fair might cover the cost of a prime rib dinner with beers or margaritas.

But as he and Lynn get older, he said, the income generated from those hobbies is almost beside the point. The greater benefit is that they have allowed the couple to stay active, even as Lynn’s illness, Scleroderma, has restricted the use of her hands.

“It’s our livelihood,” Paul said of the hobbies.

He was standing in the living area of their home and pointed at the family’s couch.

“If we stay there, we’re not going to live as many years.”

Charles Eichacker — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @ceichacker

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