Rain and thunderstorms that passed through metro Atlanta early Sunday were blamed for a fire that severely damaged a Gwinnett County home.

Gwinnett fire officials believe a lightning strike ignited the roof of a two-story home on Aberrone Place in Buford, said Capt. Thomas Rutledge, a department spokesman.

The lightning was part of a system that moved through the metro area before dawn, said Griffith.

Gwinnett was among areas that saw just a little precipation. Marietta posted the highest rainfall at about three quarters of an inch, Griffith said.

On Aberrone Place, an homeowner phoned 911 after being awaken by the sound of the lightning strike and the smoke detector alarm about the same time a neighbor alerted authorities, Rutledge said.

Firefighters called to the home just before 6 a.m. found heavy flames and smoke pouring from the roof, Rutledge said. The fire caused serious damage to the attic, roof and second floor.

The owner escaped unharmed. His wife was out of town.

About the same time, firefighters also doused a fire at the clubhouse at the Berkshires on Medlock Bridge Apartments in Norcross. Investigators are still investigating the cause and aren't sure if the fire was weather related. No injuries were reported.