The laptop did continue to work on battery after the spark occurred, but once the battery died, the laptop could not turn on even when plugged in (with a different charger from another laptop of the exact same model). I'm looking to see if it's possible that there is an easy fix to this problem that I could repair or have a technician repair for a reasonable fee, or if I need to purchase a new laptop.
When you tried using the other charger, did you try it without the battery installed? If it still doesn't work, I think the port was fried. Hopefully not what connects the port to the motherboard. The port itself, if you could find one, is usually cheap, but replacing it is not easy- that requires soldering.
You can also try resetting the BIOS via the CMOS battery, but I'm doubtful that this will help.