Its an NPN transistor so you did put the LED bar on the collector side not the emitter side yeah? And add a 10k resistor to the base to limit the base-emitter current to 1.2mA and the minimum 25 DC gain will give the circuit close to 30mA (even though it will be limited by the LED bar anyway but doesn't hurt).
Other than wiring it wrong I can't see how you would of smoked a TIP they are rated at amps not mA so it won't be from over-current surely.
What I think you may of done is wired the LED bar so that the + is connected to the collector, but the Gnd is to the battery directly, and then the collector to the battery Gnd also, effectively creating a dead short for the TIP. For example I think you may of done this:
When really you want this: