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Fire crews are conducting a water rescue in an old rock quarry in the 4400 block of Montgomery Street, where a man may have plunged nearly 100 feet into the waters below.

OAKLAND -- A man who died Tuesday night after falling to his death while looking for his cat near an abandoned water-filled quarry showed a strong devotion to his pets, a neighbor said Tuesday.

Andrew Malyon, 59, had been looking for his cat on the edge of the quarry Tuesday night and may have slipped on rain-covered ground before falling down a 100-foot cliff into the water at the bottom, officials said.

His body was recovered about 12:45 a.m. Wednesday morning, according to Oakland fire Battalion Chief Emon Usher. His body was about 30 feet under water in the quarry behind the Rockridge Shopping Center, Usher said.

Malyon was reported missing around 7 p.m. Tuesday after his roommate said he left their home in the 4400 block of Montgomery Street while searching for his cat, Usher said. The roommate searched for Malyon and found only his flashlight.

The home sits close to the quarry's edge, but a wall separates the properties.

The Alameda County Sheriff's dive team and a California Highway Patrol helicopter were brought in to aid in the search Tuesday night.

Searchers found the missing cat on the hillside about an hour after Malyon's disappearance, Usher said.

Montgomery is located near Mountain View Cemetery and the Chapel of the Chimes. Malyon walked his cats up and down the street at least once a day, according to one neighbor, who asked that his name not be used. Malyon, whom the neighbor called "a very nice man, very pleasant," did not put the animals on a leash, the neighbor said, but would call to the cats to keep them close to him.

Another neighbor placed an envelope outside Maylon's front door late Wednesday morning. The woman didn't give her name, but said Maylon's cats were like his children and called him "a dear."

It's not the first death at the quarry. In 1955, an 8-year-old boy drowned at site, when he went there with two friends, according to Oakland Tribune archives.

Staff writer Natalie Neysa Alund contributed to this report. Contact Daniel M. Jimenez at djimenez@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/DMJreports.