DALLAS (WFAA) - A 2-year-old who died in an apartment fire went back into the burning unit to look for her grandmother, the girl's cousin said.
"I just, I wish I could have been the one to save her," Jimmy Thompson said.
Even now he is unclear about how the fire started in their second-floor apartment.
"I instantly started choking and coughing, and I panicked," Thompson said. "It was instantly just smoke all around us."
Disoriented, Thompson and his girlfriend, Natasha, figured their only way out was down.
They jumped out of the window. Thompson sprained his foot.
"They got the little baby, but the little girl was nowhere to be found," neighbor Annie Turner said. "I saw her in the window and I was telling her, 'Jump, baby, jump!' But she couldn't. ... She couldn't."
Even with the sprain, Thompson helped his neighbors save an 18-month-old cousin now recovering from smoke inhalation at an area hospital.
Six people were in the apartment at the time, said spokesman Jason Evans of Dallas Fire-Rescue.
But Thompson can't forget what happened to Eve.
"I guess my grandmother was making a second effort to come back and get us," Thompson said. "Just being a little small baby that loved my granny, always at her footsteps ... my grandmother went back in, and I guess she followed her."
The grandmother escaped a second time, but Eva did not.
"This pain right here will go away, but the pain of losing my little 2-year-old cousin to that fire is never going to leave," he said.
Dallas Fire-Rescue is still investigating the cause of the blaze, which damaged eight apartments. A spokesman said firefighters think Eve's apartment had no working smoke detectors.
Family members said smoke detectors were in the unit, but Thompson said he did not hear them go off.Jimmy Thompson was crushed that he was unable to rescue his cousin, Eve Jammer, from the fire that killed her Sunday - even though he barely made it out with his own life.