Firefighters were dispatched at 2:09 p.m. this afternoon to a residence in East Brandywine Township. But even though they arrived a mere eight minutes later, it was too late to save a 93-year-old man, authorities said.

The 911 caller had reported a subject trapped at a residence in the 100 block of Crawford Road, said Patty Mains, a spokeswoman for the Department of Emergency Services. She said an investigation has been initiated, and the coroner and fire marshal are at the scene.

East Brandywine Township Lt. Eugene A. Babetski said a relative of the victim put out the fire before emergency personnel arrived. He said investigators believe a propane heater sparked the blaze; he said the man was working in a wood shop in the barn of an old farmhouse.

"It appears to be a tragic, tragic accident," Babetski said.

The companies that responded were East Brandywine, Minquas and Alert in Downingtown, and Lionville.

Contact staff writer Kathleen Brady Shea at 610-696-3815 or kbrady@phillynews.com.