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Most auto parts store will test the battery or alternator for free. Most should have the machine that tests it on the car too. You could have gotten a defect battery

Depending on how hot it is and how long you cranked the engine, it's possible that you fried the starter, causing the smoke.

Another guess- shorted wire is a possibilty. Another guess is stuck starter. The bearings get old and the starter gets clogged with dust, causing it to stay engaged, this acts like a generator and can do crazy things with the electrics. Also the voltage regulator on the alternator could be bad.
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