(AT&T has never lost an entire central office),
I'm thinking of that panel office fire in NYC, circa 1970.
It was the 212 toll switch building.
Or do they mean the building as well as the contents?
(I recall it as panel as much of the lube applied over the years
had soaked into the paper/cotton cabling; this proved very hard
to fully extinguish.)
I've spoke with one of the people involved in the recovery
of that office. The AT&T switch continued to operate through
the fire and several weeks afterwards. They have a tape of
a newscast where Mayor Koch is praising the efforts of New
York Telephone and the people of New York.
A better example is Hinsdale Illinois. As far as I know, I
haven't met anyone personally involved with that one. It
disrupted a lot of service, I don't think the fire destroyed
the entire building.
The most recent example is Rochelle Park, NJ; but I believe
that building was officially owned by Bell Atlantic. There the
damage was limited to power equipment.
With divesture, the pre-divesture disasters as well as the Bell
logo went on to the books of the LECs. AT&T's NDR has only been
around since 1991. So the statement is technically correct, although
it omits some details.