Q: No dash lights, wont start or turn over, interior lights and stereo work

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While driving my golf smoked from the steering column/driver side dash. engine died at same time. when the key turns no sound is made, pulled non stick radio and visually check fuses. even with power to interior lights dash has no lights and gas gauge stays on empty. I plan on testing relays and fuses as well as ignition switch. I really just need to if im in the right direction,
My car has a manual transmission.

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