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, 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 Beaudin 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 Beaudin’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,” a Monmouth firefighter said the next day. He didn’t know what caused the fire, but said it was not suspicious.

Now, the Beaudins 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 Beaudin said this weekend, shortly before she and her husband made a trip to the 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 hasn’t been easy. Since 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 now they worry that a heavy snowfall this week could delay the cleanup.

They’re also worried that Beaudin, who is 57, won’t be able to continue working on cars.

Beaudin sewed custom upholsteries for old cars in the garage. He 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, Beaudin said, he hopes to salvage as many tools as he can from the wreckage.

Since the fire, their nephew has started a fundraiser to rebuild their garage on the website GoFundMe.

Charles Eichacker can be contacted at 621-5642 or at:

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Twitter: ceichacker