Charlie Austin provided lift-off for the Clarets as he struck twice to end Derby's flawless start and propel Burnley to a thrilling first Championship win of the season.
Austin took his goal tally to five as Burnley tasted victory in the league for the first time since winning at Pride Park at the end of April.
But if Austin was the headline grabber, there were outstanding performers all over the pitch as the Clarets showed tremendous character to repel a late onslaught from the Rams, who had won their opening four games to sit joint top of the table.
Nigel Clough's side had conceded only one goal during that run but had no answer to a Clarets' attack which also twice hit the woodwork.
The in-form Austin struck either side of a Theo Robinson riposte in a pulsating second half to continue his remarkable start to the campaign.
And with Eddie Howe's side deservedly off the mark, they gave themselves the perfect sign-off ahead of the international break.
Charlie Austin gets an early sighter
Howe's search for a clean sheet led to a recall for Brian Jensen in goal with David Edgar starting in another re-shuffled back four following Michael Duff's injury-enforced absence.
And a positive start from the Clarets gave the rearguard chance to find their feet as it was Derby's defence which was asked most of the early questions.
Despite their contrasting recent records, Burnley showed no inferiority complex as they enjoyed the return to the scene of their last Championship success.
Charlie Austin headed a chance too close to Frank Fielding after just four minutes before wingmen Keith Treacy and Ross Wallace both went close from distance as they continued their promising starts to the campaign.
And it was the delivery of Wallace that almost saw Burnley go ahead after a quarter of an hour.
Keith Treacy also goes close early on
The winger's cross from the right was perfect for Austin to meet with a glancing header, which beat Fielding but was just a couple of inches away from its intended target as the ball smacked against a post.
Inevitably Derby had their moments as they looked to extend their 100 per cent start but Jensen was never over-extended before the break with a straightforward save from Craig Bryson about the only time he got his gloves dirty.
And again it was the Clarets who threatened to grab the lead with another sustained spell of pressure at the end of the opening half.
Burnley's well-worked corner routine nearly paid off again when Wallace stepped over Kieran Trippier's delivery for Edgar to steer a shot wide.
And Austin then forced Fielding into a fine block as he capitalised on a mistake from John Brayford to let fly, Chris McCann going down under a challenge in the box as he looked to pounce on the rebound.
1-0 to the Clarets
With Derby distinctly second best, Nigel Clough made two changes during the interval and it was one of the substitutes who almost made an immediate impact as Robinson, who had looked so dangerous against the Clarets here in April, forced Jensen to save with his legs.
But Burnley weren't content to sit back and went ahead in the 50th-minute as Austin continued his resurgence.
Treacy was the architect as he got the better of Mark O'Brien on the by-line and pulled the ball back perfectly for Austin to take a touch, steady himself and drive home his first goal away from Turf Moor.
Austin threatened again moments later when he ran onto a fine ball from Trippier and suddenly it was a wide open affair as Derby pushed for a quick response.
Only a superb goalline block from Ben Mee prevented Jeff Hendrick from providing it before the Clarets were only the width of a post away from doubling their lead as Treacy ran at the Derby defence and steered a low shot against the woodwork.
Austin bags the points
It was breathless stuff with the Clarets living dangerously at times and Derby's pressure finally told with 19 minutes to go as Robinson side-footed home a low cross from Craig Bryson.
But far from settle for a point the Clarets hit back themselves and three minutes later were back on front thanks again to Austin.
Edgar launched the decisive move with a fine ball from the back to Rodriguez, who laid the ball off for Wallace 25 yards from goal.
Wallace's thunderbolt was too hot for Fielding to hold and Austin reacted quickest to reach the loose ball and slide a shot into the bottom corner before celebrating in front of the Clarets' fans.
Almost immediately Jensen pulled off the save of the game to tip over an effort from Bryson before Austin then almost completed a memorable hat-trick as he fired over from Rodriguez's pull back.
The trademark celebration
And Howe's men would have loved the cushion of an extra goal as Derby cranked up the pressure in a fractious finish which saw referee Andy Haines add seven extra minutes.
Nerves were inevitably frayed, although Burnley had the best two chances to seal it as McCann saw a shot tipped over and Fielding denied Dean Marney in the dying seconds of a riveting win that provided the Clarets with the perfect tonic going into the two-week break.
Burnley: Jensen, Easton, Edgar, Mee, Trippier, Treacy (MacDonald 90), Marney, McCann, Wallace (Elliott 82), Austin (Amougou 85), Rodriguez. Subs: Hines, Grant.
Booked: Mee 28
Derby: Fielding, Brayford, Kilbane, Shackell, O'Brien, Bailey, Hendrick, Bryson, B Davies, S Davies (Robinson ht), Ward (Croft ht). Subs: Roberts, Maguire, Legzdins.
Booked: Ward 18
Referee: Andy Haines