You may have an in-line fuse panel somewhere, especially if you house was built in 1961. By fuse, I mean the screw-in type, not a circuit breaker. Where it is, is anybodyís guess. Sometimes it is found in a basement or crawlspace. They are products of early-electrical thinking, and one may have been left behind if your home started out with fuses, and later was converted to circuit breakers. Maybe during a remodel or addition, this circuit was used unwittingly.
Next, wires usually donít come loose, unless you have aluminum wiring. The breaker would pop before any wires would melt, and if they did not pop, your house would have probably burned to the ground. Phone wires, on the other hand, could melt if faced with 120v from the outlets. However, you phones only run on something around 9v, and the transformer is usually in the plug, not the phone. In short, other things would melt in-line before your phone wires could.
A direct lightening strike could have also taken out both wires, but again, no breaker popped, and your house did not burn down.
Do you know if the home was converted from fuses to circuit breakers? Does your home have aluminum wiring? Are all of your phone jacks out? In other words, you have no phone service inside your home. Has your home had any additions, and if so, are the outlets that donít work in said addition?
I would suggest, since time to your settlement is short, just have your electrician friend start checking each out-of-commission outlet, including the wires behind them. In other words, each outlet needs to be unscrewed and pulled out to examine for loose or broken wires. He will have testing equipment to help speed this testing.