A Levittown man concluded an argument with his girlfriend Monday by apparently setting his house on fire and dying in the flames.

It was unclear whether the man intended to kill himself in the fire, said Bucks County Deputy District Attorney Marc Furber, but it does appear that he set the blaze.

The fire was reported at 1:25 p.m. on Red Maple Lane. The two-story structure was burning out of control when police and firefighters arrived. The man's body, covered with burns, was found in the yard behind the charred home, Furber said.

The man's name was not released, pending positive identification, but he is presumed to be the homeowner, Furber said. An autopsy has been set for Wednesday morning.

Sometime after 1 p.m., Furber said, the man had asked his girlfriend, with whom he had been arguing, to leave the house. When the woman returned to retrieve her purse, "she saw the homeowner pouring some type of fluid on the floor and moving toward the back of the residence," Furber said.

"It was very shortly thereafter that the entire house was engulfed in flames," Furber said. "It was very, very quick."

Furber said that the homeowner and the woman had been living together, but that he did not know for how long.

The woman was questioned by investigators. No charges were filed.

"It appears that his death is either accidental or a suicide," Furber said. "It appears that he intended to burn his own home, but the question is whether he intended to take his own life in that manner as well."

Contact staff writer Larry King
at 215-345-0446 or lking@phillynews.com.