- "Time to go to work, CJ, and earn your freedom. There's a guy holed up across town. You got that address, Pulaski? Another gangbanging, drug-pushing, cop-killing bitch, just like you. We don't like him and he don't like us. Now you make sure he never leaves the neighborhood - not even in a box."
- ―Frank Tenpenny to Carl Johnson.
Burning Desire is the first mission in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas given to protagonist Carl Johnson by C.R.A.S.H. officers Frank Tenpenny, Eddie Pulaski and Jimmy Hernandez from the Jim's Sticky Ring doughnut shop in the Market district of Los Santos, San Andreas.
Carl enters the doughnut shop and is spotted by Frank Tenpenny, who tells him to come and sit with them. Tenpenny and Pulaski act with hostility towards Carl, with Tenpenny reminding him that C.R.A.S.H. owns him. Tenpenny then informs Carl of a 'gangbanging, drug-pushing, cop-killing bitch' holed up in a building in East Los Santos that doesn't like them. Tenpenny tells Carl that he wants the gangster dead.
Carl first heads to an alleyway in Downtown to collect some molotov cocktails that C.R.A.S.H. had left for him, before heading over to the building in East Los Santos. Carl kills the Los Santos Vagos gangsters surrounding the building and then throws molotov cocktails into five windows around the building. The 'holed up' man, a member of the Los Santos Vagos runs out of the building, being badly burnt by the flames, he quickly dies from his injuries.
Carl then hears a girl trapped inside. To rescue her, Carl enters the building and gets to the upstairs bedroom she is trapped inside. Then using a fire extinguisher obtained from the kitchen, he extinguishes the flames blocking their path, helping the girl escape the crumbling building. The girl graciously thanks Carl, and asks him to bring her to her house. Once there, she introduces herself as Denise Robinson, and both of them agree to go on a date in the distant future.
In order to complete the mission the player must:
- Tenpenny has hidden some molotov cocktails in an alleyway in Downtown Los Santos. Pick them up.
- You've got some molotovs. Go to the gangster's house and torch it.
- Torch the house. Throw molotovs into the 5 downstairs windows - that'll make it burn.
- You've trapped a girl inside the burning building. You'll have to save her.
- Take the fire extinguisher upstairs and rescue the girl.
- Drive the girl to her house.
- Completing the Firefighter side mission before attempting this mission will make Carl fireproof, which can help make this mission much easier.
- Get some body armor before starting the mission, and get some strong weapons as there will be fierce resistance.
- Other explosive weapons can also set the house alight. If Carl has a RPG he may find it useful as it can shoot some windows while staying away from the hostile dangerous guards.
There is no monetary reward for completing the mission, but the player can collect $1,000 inside the burning house, there is $500 next to the bed in the bedroom where Denise is waiting to be saved, and another $500 to be found in the living room on the ground floor. The missions Doberman and Gray Imports are unlocked. Carl also gains some molotov cocktails and a fire extinguisher, whilst Denise becomes Carl's girlfriend.
- While approaching the house, there is a Vagos member standing outside who appears to be talking on a cell phone. Upon closer inspection (using a camera or sniper rifle), the gang member is actually holding a pistol against his ear. This is likely a developer oversight.
- Even if Carl already has Molotov Cocktails in his inventory before starting the mission, the game will still force the player to collect them from the alleyway.
- The interior of the doughnut shop says "Rusty Brown's Ring Donuts", even though the exterior of the building says "Jim's Sticky Ring".
- A Police Car will always spawn outside the doughnut shop after the opening cutscene ends. This vehicle can be stolen without incurring a wanted level.
- If the player fails the mission while inside the apartment without dying, after mission failure Carl can be seen walking out of the house.