By the time firefighters arrived, there were heavy smoke and flames billowing from the windows and roof of the building.
By the time they had the blaze under control, the Paper Lantern was a smoldering, gutted mess.
The restaurant, which specializes in Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine, caught fire sometime on Sunday night.
Fort Wayne firefighters were called to the restaurant, located at 4610 Coldwater Road, a little before 10:30 p.m.
The severity of the flames put firefighters on the defensive, according to the fire department.
Crews also battled strong winds and worked to contain the fire to ensure it would not spread to neighboring buildings.
It took about an hour and 20 minutes to bring the fire under control, according to the fire department.
No one was inside at the time of the fire, and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Fire crews remained on the scene throughout Monday morning.
Medics with the Three Rivers Ambulance Authority, workers with NIPSCO, AEP and Fort Wayne Neighborhood Code as well firefighters with the St. Joseph Fire Department assisted at the scene.