The three minifigures are identical in body, legs and helmet, only the heads are different. There are two males with dirtied faces and tired expressions and (at last!) a female fire fighter, with perfect make up and a big smile. Obviously Lego don't think a female fire fighter actually fights fires!
The ladder truck is a nice design, nothing over-the-top about it, just a cool, functional shape. As with pretty much all the City sets construction is straightforward with nothing to confuse an old AFOL like me. The only very slightly dodgy bit is the 1x1 cone on the end of the hose nozzle. It's there to attach a 'water' piece to the nozzle but it comes off quite easily when you don't want it to.
The building is a small, simple design looking suitably derelict with boarded up windows and door. I like the black roof pieces to denote the burnt area, nice idea and effective. The flames consists of four pieces of two different sizes which looks the part, especially when back-lit. A neat design feature is the flames can be flipped down to represent the fire being put out, the only little problem then is it then looks like the inside of the roof is burning upside down... I'm just being picky!
There is a fairly heavy use of stickers, five on the fire truck and three on the boards across the windows of the building. I'm not a fan of stickers.
In all it's a good set. Plenty of pieces, a fun little build and good playability. My son played with it for a long time, until I wrenched it off him and put everything back AS IT SHOULD BE!! Ahem... Worth buying even if it's just to increase your stock of fire vehicles and personnel.