Later, Leicestershire police said the blast was being investigated with the fire service. She said emergency services arrived within minutes and that she could see the fire about 200 meters away.
Police are treating the incident as a "major incident" and advised people to avoid the area, reportedly committing all emergency services to the area.
"We were en route when the police called to say a building had collapsed", the spokeswoman said.
Leicestershire fire and rescue sent six fire engines to Hinckley Road after reports came in about the explosion at around 7pm on Sunday (25 February).
The property on Hinckley Road is understood to have gone up in flames around 7.00pm local time.
"There was a bang and the whole house shook". The old Londis and the flat above have been destroyed by fire.
"It looks like the fire is burning under control but there's still a lot of smoke".
The Leicester Mercury said debris had been blown across the road in front of the site.
The police said was no indication the incident was terrorist-related, and asked people not to speculate about the cause.
The police spokeswoman also said representatives from gas and electric provider companies were in attendance at the scene, under routine procedures. The sound - I thought it was a bomb!
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