News10NBC Investigates city house explosion: "I felt the same pain he felt"

Berkeley Brean
Updated: September 05, 2019 06:55 PM
Created: September 05, 2019 05:52 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — This week a News10NBC investigation uncovered a tragic update about the Rochester man who died when he blew up his home that he lost in foreclosure. Little did Randal Jackson know that he was entitled to more than $44,000 from the profits of the foreclosure auction. 

After News10NBC revealed that, we were contacted by an agency that says it could have helped. 


Inez Burns loves to tend her garden next to her home in Rochester. She bought it in 1994 and raised her family there. But last year, when she got sick and couldn't work, she fell behind on her mortgage and her bank started to foreclose. So when she watched my story on Randal Jackson, it sounded familiar.

"I felt the same pain he felt," Burns said. "I felt like him before. I was totally in his shoes."

The difference is Burns got help from the Housing Council, part of the federal agency of Housing and Urban Development. 

Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean: "You saw our story on Randal Jackson?"

Trisha Isaman, Sr. Dir. Housing Programs, Housing Council: "I did, yes."

Trisha Isaman is the senior director of housing programs at the Housing Council. Sue Boss is the Senior Vice President. 

The Housing Council helps 400 to 500 homeowners facing the threat of foreclosure every year and they say nine out of 10 people they help keep their home. 

Isaman, Housing Council: "The first thing we want homeowners to know is unless you have lost the home to foreclosure it's never too late to contact us."

Sue Boss, Sr. VP of Housing, Housing Council: "We want people to stay in their homes."

Randal Jackson blew up his home on Illinois Street on August 21, exactly one week after the foreclosure auction. 

Court records show he owed $36,000. The foreclosure auction price was $80,700. Banks are not allowed to keep any profit. 

So if the house was intact and the deal went through, Jackson was entitled to $44,700.

"So he went through a lot by himself and I feel sorry wasn't able to reach out to him to show him there are programs out here to help you," Inez Burns said. "And I feel so bad when I saw that I just started crying and said why [did] nobody help this guy? Why?"

The Housing Council says 21,000 90-day foreclosure notices got sent to homeowners in Monroe County last year.

You can reach the Housing Council at (585) 546-3700.

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