Fifty years ago October 1965, Lawrence Melby announced he was going to build a furniture, flooring, appliances and TV store in Columbia Falls to be known as Melby's Flathead Furniture. Lawrence retired in 1985, son Steve took over the business changing the name to Melby's Home Interiors, selling furniture and flooring.
The store would change locations to Highway 2, which was its current location for the past 10 years. Melby's Home Interiors would go on to be a Columbia Falls institution, a longtime supporter of sports and other activities in the community.
Steve and his wife, Debbie, live not far from the store. A neighbor woke him up around 5:30 AM Sept 26th 2015 to tell him the store was on fire. Steve went to the scene and witnessed his livelihood burn down.
He said the plan is to rebuild. Insurance adjusters had already visited the site Sunday morning. The store had about $1 million in inventory. The vacated Bank of Columbia Falls at 540 Nucleus Ave is providing temporary space until the company could get back on its feet.